Gower Salt Marsh Lamb given protected status
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has become the first food to receive protected status since the transition period with the EU ended, meaning the product cannot be imitated by manufacturers elsewhere.
The Gower Peninsula in South Wales in renowned for its lamb
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has officially joined an illustrious club including Stilton cheese, Cornish pasties, and Arbroath smokies as UK foods with protected status. As a result, Gower Salt Marsh Lamb is also the first new food to receive protected status after the end of the Transition Period with the EU.
The 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. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) says the new status allows shoppers to 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.
“Our new GI schemes guarantee quality and excellence for food lovers at home and around the world,” said Food Minister Victoria Prentis.
“I am really pleased to see Gower Salt Marsh Lamb gain protected status, and I can think of no better product to kick start our new scheme with.
“We want people, at home and abroad, to be lining up to buy British. I would encourage producers from all around the UK to apply to the scheme, so that we can celebrate and protect more of our excellent local produce, and ensure it is given the recognition that it deserves.”
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 3500 lambs per year.
“Wales boasts an outstanding selection of food and drink including cheese, seafood and beer which are all flying the flag for Welsh culinary excellence around the world,” said Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart.
“It’s fantastic to see Gower Salt Marsh Lamb added to the list of iconic products from Wales, becoming the first recognised product under the UK’s new and independent schemes.
“Guaranteeing the authenticity of Welsh food and drink helps cement our reputation for quality both at home and in new international markets.”