A number of Welsh food and drink products could be granted Protected Geographical Indication status thanks to a new initiative launched by the Wales Assembly Government.
The European Protected Food Names initiative has been devised to help increase the number of Welsh products that can receive legal protection, throughout the European Union, thus guarding against imitation. This special designation status is then used to help promote awareness of the products – i.e. how and where they’re produced, their background/history – with consumers, both in the country of production and throughout Europe and the world.
France and Italy have products that have long benefited from this sort of recognition – Champagne and Parma ham, for example. However, other countries, the UK in particular, have been slow to recognise the its value. Stilton cheese is one such product, Melton Mowbray pork pie is another. In fact, there are currently 44 UK products that enjoy special designation status, including Cornish clotted cream and Jersey Royal potatoes. However, only two of these products are from Wales – Welsh lamb and Welsh beef.
The lack of Welsh products that have Protected Geographical Indication status is something that Elin Jones, Minister for Welsh Rural Affairs wishes to rectify. Speaking to Gwlad
, she said
: “The benefits for the red-meat sector in wales have been tremendous in terms of consumer and trade recognition, both within the UK but also oversees.