11/08/2021 – Agriculture / Lamb / Gower Salt Marsh / Meat / UK / Wales / GI / Protected Status
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb becomes first new food to receive protected status under UK scheme
Reared in South Wales, Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has officially joined the club of UK’s most iconic products, becoming the first new food to receive protected status after the end of the Transition Period with the EU.
The UK’s new, independent Geographical Indication (GI) schemes were launched after the end of the transition period, and are designed to ensure that popular and traditional products from across the country can obtain special status to mark out their authenticity and origin. This means that shoppers can buy their favourite food and drink with confidence, and producers whose foods are granted GI status benefit from intellectual property protection, so that others cannot imitate them.
With the registration now complete, the meat produced from lambs born and reared on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales has gained full protection and recognition as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). The protection has been given as Gower Salt Marsh Lamb producers were able to demonstrate their meat’s characteristics are essentially and exclusively due to its particular area of production.
Meat with unique characteristics
Produced using knowledge and skills dating back to medieval times, Gower Salt Marsh Lamb comes from lamb born, reared and slaughtered in the Gower area of South Wales. The meat gains its unique characteristics from specific vegetation and environment of the salt marshes on the north Gower coastline, where the lambs graze over long distances for more than half of their lifetime. It is a seasonal product, available from June until the end of December.
The Gower salt marshes offer unique environment to lambs, where they can graze over the vast flat expanses. Historically, these north Gower salt marshes have supported thousands of sheep and are currently grazed by 3,500 lambs per year.
There are now 17 GIs in Wales in total.
Joining the UK’s club of most iconic products
Dan and Will Pritchard – third-generation farmers from Weobley Castle Farm, who produce Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, said they were delighted that the meat they produce is now officially recognised and registered under the new UK GI schemes.
“We currently produce around 1,000 lambs per year – taking care of the whole process to create meat with a unique, local flavour of samphire and sea lavender,” they informed. “This recognition means that the reputation of our regional product is protected, and it helps us promote traditional agricultural practices and eliminate non-genuine products.”
Following the application to register this specific type of lamb as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has received official recognition of authenticity and provenance, meaning that verified producers can now use the GI logo on their product.
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has now joined the club of the UK’s most iconic products, such as Scotch Whisky and Wensleydale Cheese, meaning that shoppers will increasingly see the UK GI logo on these products.
New trade deals are opening doors for British agriculture and food and drink businesses around the world, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade, who said in a statement they are “working in lockstep with partners like the NFU, NFU Cymru, Farmers’ Union of Wales, the AHDB and the Food & Drink Federation to deliver tailored support on the ground for farmers and food producers” through the ‘Open Doors’ programme, which offers free advice and support to potential exporters.
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