Welsh Leeks have become the latest addition to the UK Geographical Indication (GI) Scheme, which protects the name, authenticity and characteristics of regional products.
Shoppers will be able to clearly see a logo on the label showing they are buying the real thing, and producers will benefit knowing that others cannot imitate them.
The protection applies to all verified products sold in Great Britain as ‘Welsh Leeks’ and is expected to be a boost for the industry.
Leeks have been a national symbol for Wales for centuries. Their protection is part of the UK GI scheme, which also protects renowned British produce such as Cornish clotted cream and Scotch Whisky and helps consumers know they are buying high quality, authentic products.
As the newest addition to the UK GI scheme, protecting a product’s name, characteristics, authenticity, and origin, Welsh Leeks will be traceable from field to fork, tracked throughout their growing, harvesting and sale.
There are now 92 UK produced GI products: 81 agricultural and food products, six wines and five spirit drinks.
As well as their distinctive strong peppery taste and vibrant green colour Welsh Leeks are known to grow on harder, sometimes stony soil, including in coastal areas of Wales.
Food and Farming Minister Mark Spencer said:
Parliamentary Undersecretary in the Wales Office, Dr James Davies, said:
NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said:
Huw Thomas, CEO at Puffin Produce, who applied for Welsh Leeks to be designated as a GI, said:
Welsh Leeks are found in numerous iconic Welsh recipes such as Cawl (soup) and in pork and leek sausages.