Traditional Welsh milk and butter could join the likes of Melton Mowbray pork pies, Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese as protected food names.
The Welsh Assembly Government have shortlisted nine Welsh foods as they prepare to apply to the EU protected food names scheme, in a move to increase consumer awareness of the diversity of Welsh food.
The chosen food products are Anglesey Sea Salt, Carmarthen ham, Pembrokeshire potatoes, Penclawdd cockles, Penclawdd laverbread, North Menai Strait mussels, Cardigan Bay Prawns and Welsh milk and butter.
The foods were selected by environmental consultancy ADAS as worthy of either protected destination origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) or traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) status.
Jonathan Parker, head of food and drink market development at the Assembly’s Department for Rural Affairs, said, “We may have moved on quite a long way from people seeing Wales as the land of lamb, leeks and laverbread, but to demonstrate the diversity of food and drink products you buy from Wales we can use protected name status to help us along with that.”
Explaining that PDO or PGI status can help suppliers get noticed by supermarkets, he continued, “I’m aware of at least one multiple retailer that has hinted that if a particular product potentially going into a category had protected status, it certainly would help the suppliers’ case.”
The news follows the launch of a £75,000 initative at last year’s Royal Welsh Show to increase the number of Welsh foods with protected status from two to ten within two years. At the moment only Welsh beef and lamb are protected, although Welsh cider and perry are currently applying.
The shortlisted producers will discover their chances of success after submitting a first-draft application to ADAS. It is thought that only seven of the nine products will eventually be proposed to the European Council.