The Feni is a Goan liquor made out of the Cashew Apple fermentation and it has already received the title of “Heritage Spirit of Goa” and now it is the turn of another liquor made in Goa and preferred by the locals called Urrak to fall in the category of brand that Goan Feni enjoys at the moment. According to the sources, Urrak will soon get the commercial branding and it will be bottled and branded just like Feni. The news comes as a pleasant surprise to the stakeholder of the liquor industry which is presently facing the odd from the supreme court due to the notice of shutting down the bar and liquor shops in the proximity of 500 meters of the National Highways.
According to the sources, the order of the supreme court which worked as a threat to the bar and liquor shop owners the news of inclusion of Urrak into the IG category has brought the smile on the face of many. Based on the report published in the local daily Herald, the Goa excise department on Sunday said that Urrak will follow Feni’s footstep in terms of bottling and commercial branding and that the department is working towards the preparation of policies for the same.
The Supreme Court has ordered the eradication of the Bars and Liquor Shops within the 500 mt proximity of national highways. Hundreds of Bar owners and Liquor establishments are protesting the decision of the government. The sources have said that this new decision of the supreme court will hit the sales of alcohol vendors. The iconic joints like Longuinhos are standing against the government decision, said the sources.
Speaking to the Heraldo, Superintendent of Excise Satyawan Bhivshet said “Since Feni has been given GI status; Urrak will also be following Feni’s footsteps in terms of commercial branding and bottling. The first stage is to commercialize the distribution is Urrak. Till now, it is being distributed in gallons. Initially, Urrak’s branding and bottling will be done on a much smaller scale as the Feni, is still the first choice” said Bhivshet
The stakeholders from the liquor industry have shown the surprise over the decision of the government wherein on the one side it is trying to shut down the liquor shops and on the other side, they are promotion the traditional Goan Liquor. Meanwhile, on Aug 8, 2016, the government had introduced the Bill amending the Excise Act to give the traditional local brew of feni a heritage tag and also declare certain areas as ‘no alcohol zones’.
According to the sources, the amendment Bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on Aug 8, 2016, by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. In the statement of objects and reasons, the Chief Minister said Goa government has decided to separately define ‘feni’ and establish its unique and well deserving status by declaring the liquor as the “Heritage Spirit of Goa.” Introducing the amendment, the draft bill states that feni has multifaceted use in cultural traditions, cuisines, medical purpose and others which are synonymous with the Goan identity. The government said the objective of the amendment is to reach out the Geographical Indications (GI) to the primary and traditional stakeholders. It will also enable trade in world markets positioning it on an equal footing with single malt whiskeys and tequila.