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02.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

NEW TEQUILA REGULATIONS

For many, tequila is known as a good time party shot or the key ingredient in a margarita. In reality, it is a much more complex spirit, one which is made to very strict standards. In order to protect makers of tequila from unfair competition, the Mexican government recently announced a set of new regulations. Norm OO6 establishes procedures for obtaining official certification as a tequila distiller or bottler. Besides addressing techniques of production, the measure lays down standards for how tequila is to be bottled and sold and mandates what kind of information must be included on labels. “The change in regulations will allow (consumers) to be sure of the authenticity of tequila . . . permitting producers and marketers to better place their product in various market niches,” the Economic Secretariat said. The proclamation of Norm OO6 followed calls from tequila makers for tighter regulation and the imposition of labeling standards to clearly distinguish agave-based drinks from knockoffs made using derivatives of the plant. Sales of those cheaper beverages have surged in Mexico in recent years. The three spirits distilled from agave – tequila, mezcal and bacanora – together account for a third of alcoholic beverage sales in Mexico.

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