Regulating Council of the Chufa of Valencia

A Denominación de Origen or D.O.1 is the uppermost recognition that public institutions can grant a product and that gives it an image of quality.


To get the D.O., the product must fulfil two conditions:

  • Firstly, it has to be produced, transformed and elaborated in the geographical area stipulated by the Regulations of the Denominación de Origen.
  • Secondly, the differential parameters of the quality protected in the given area must be respected.

Most people know that the Chufa (= tigernut) has a clearly defined area which covers16 municipalities in the Valencia region called l´Horta Nord and that the special characteristics of the soil and climate of this district are decisive for the farming of an optimal quality product.


It's not overnight that the level of protection of the Chufa of Valencia as we know it nowadays was obtained. We have come a long way and in looking back we will start by reporting that the first meetings took place around 1985 and were attended by the representatives of the production sector of the Chufa of Valencia, the producers of the Horchata de Chufa (= tigernut milk) of Valencia and the Valencian Authorities, so as to create a Denominación de Origen label.


July 1986 was the year when the first official recognition was obtained and the Valencian Authorities granted a specific quality label to the Chufa of Valencia and the Horchata Valenciana de Chufa (as the Horchata was called in the beginning).


In 1987 was created the first Regulating Council for the Valencia’s Chufa which, under the presidency of Mr Daniel Tortajada, started to work on the Regulations of the Denominación de Origen. These were published two years later, in 1989.


Finally, it was in 1995 that the Valencian Government vouchsafed the Denominación de Origen to the Chufa of Valencia.


Later on, in 1997, its text was revised and partially modified as well as ratified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


And finally, it can be pointed out that since February 1999, the before named denomination has been recognized by the European Union which has included it in its registry of Certificates of Origin. So this means that both the Chufa of Valencia and the Horchata of Chufa of Valencia, hold the maximum quality protection level a product can get.

Currently, the Regulating Council is working on an amendment to the Regulations so as to up-date it to the European directives and thus foment an even better quality of the products it covers and a more exhaustive control.



First of all, the D.O. offers a guarantee of quality to the consumer of the product, be it of the Horchata of Chufa of Valencia or be it of the Chufa of Valencia.


If we observe the European consumption habits, we can detect an increased consumer’s tendency to look for products bearing a Denominación de Origen label which guarantees their quality and origin. This apart from trusting a specific company.


With the D.O. the Council guarantees the consumers that when they drink an Horchata of Chufa of Valencia in an establishment or from a container which carries the label of the D.O., they are consuming an Horchata made only with the Chufa of Valencia which complies with the quality criteria established by the Regulations of the D.O.


Likewise, the Council guarantees the producer of Horchata that the Chufa he is using comes from the Valencia Area and is of the highest quality.


To ensure that the quality guidelines are followed, the Regulating Council relies on a qualified technical staff who periodically inspect the companies and the products which have got the D.O. label. They take samples and check that the requested criteria are complied with.


Secondly, the D.O. is a clear mark which distinguishes on the market this genuine Valencian product, as the Chufa has a specific quality, quite different from the tigernuts from other countries.


When the distinctive D.O. label is missing, the origin and the quality cannot be guaranteed.


Thirdly, a Regulating Council enables to act as a sector platform when taking measures in the interest of the sector and which would be difficult to implement otherwise. In this same line of thought, studies have been made and continue to be made so as to determine the health properties of the Chufa of Valencia and of the Horchata de Chufa of Valencia.


Likewise, the Council participates in two projects in cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The first is about the optimisation of the irrigation water, about the fertilisation and the cultivation systems. The second is focused on controlling the “aerial mushroom” which affects the Chufa plant.


The aim of the Regulating Council is to obtain a Chufa of the best quality while appropriately using the phytosanitary products with respect to the environment.


Already from its creation, the Regulating Council has banked on promotion. It launches two types of publicity: the first one aimed at the Horchata producer so as they acquire Chufas from Valencia; the second one aimed at the consumer so that every time they want to drink an Horchata they look for the D.O. label.


Furthermore, one other function of the Council is to protect the producers against a disloyal competition.


Disloyal competition is meant when companies which do not have products corresponding to the D.O. criteria use mentions or characteristics which are protected by the D.O., or when they transmit to the consumer information which can be misleading. If or when it happens, the Regulating Council can take the offender to court. It should be remembered here that the Regulating Council is an official entity whose function and labour are recognised in the DOGV2 , in the BOE3 and even by the European Union.


Hence, a company trading with tigernuts cannot mention on its label or in its publicity that their Chufas are from Valencia or the Horta Nord, or any region located in the protected production area if it, for any reason, has not got the label of the D.O.. The same applies to the producers of Horchata.


Only and solely the Regulating Council can authorise the mention and the label of the D.O. and can guarantee it.



[1] Denominación de Origen is the Spanish name of a label or Certificate of Origin. In its form, it is very similar to the Frech AOC and covers several concepts. It guarantees, in this case, that the tigernut or Chufa comes from the limited area in the Valencia region, that the seeding, farming, washing, drying and selection of the chufas corresponds to the stated parameters stated in the Regulations so as to obtain a product of the uppermost quality. The same applies to the Horchata de Chufa.
[2] Diario Oficial de la Comunidad Valenciana, periodical newspaper from the Valencian authorities.
[3] Boletín Oficial del Estado, periodical newspaper from the Spanish Government.

Consejo Regulador DO Valencia

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