Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has today officially joined the club of UK’s most iconic products.
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has today (Wednesday 11 August 2021) 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 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.
Food Minister Victoria Prentis said:
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.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
The UK Government works to ensure that all culturally and economically important products from across the UK, such as the Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, are appropriately protected from imitation. This is achieved in collaboration with the Devolved Administrations and regional counterparts, who have an advisory role and support applicants.
There are now 17 GIs in Wales in total. This recognition enables inclusion of these iconic products in celebrations of Welsh food and drink.
Dan and Will Pritchard from Weobley Castle Farm, who produce Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, said:
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. Defra and the Department for International Trade are working in lockstep with partners like the NFU, NFU Cymru, Farmers’ Union of Wales, the AHDB and the Food and Drink Federation to deliver tailored support on the ground for farmers and food producers through our Open Doors programme, which offers free advice and support to potential exporters.