Wales’ Food and Drink industry has received a major boost with confirmation Carmarthen Ham has been awarded European Union Protected Food Name (EUPFN) status.
Carmarthen Ham first applied for a “Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI)” in November 2011 and has been fully supported throughout the entire process by the Welsh Government.
For any product, being awarded PGI status is big news. Since Welsh Lamb acquired it, for example, in 2003, exports of sheep meat from Wales grew by £76.3m in just ten years. Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales estimated 25% of the cumulative growth in exports from 2003 to 2012, can be attributed directly to the PGI brand and related marketing activities.
Wales has a number of products which have been successful in achieving protected status. These include PGI Welsh Lamb and Beef, PDO Halen Mȏn / Anglesey Sea Salt, PGI Pembrokeshire early new potatoes, Conwy Mussels and PDO & PGI Welsh Wine. What’s more, the European Commission is currently considering seven further applications from the UK and they are all from Wales.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, welcomed the news. Lesley said:
“Carmarthen Ham being awarded protected status is excellent news for the product and for Wales. It is a sign of the commitment we have made to supporting world class Welsh produce and recognition of the unique quality this represents.
“EUPFN status ensures the product can not be imitated or re-produced without meeting very stringent specifications which is great for the product’s reputation.”
Lesley confirmed the good news ahead of her visit to the SIAL International Food Exhibition, the world’s largest world food exhibition, where she will be flying the flag for Wales’ food and drink industry with fifteen of Wales’ leading food and drink producers. She added:
“I am very much looking forward to joining fifteen of our finest food and drink producers at SIAL Paris next week. Like our footballers, this summer, I’m sure Wales will leave a positive, lasting impression on a world stage.
“Our presence at SIAL is part of our overall commitment to grow the Welsh food and drink industry by 30% by 2020. Already, growth is up 17% over the past two years - so we are already more than half way towards our 2020 target. This is a testament to the remarkable range of highly innovative food and drink producers who are making their mark internationally.
“I am keen we build on this and continue to raise the profile and reputation of Welsh food and drink on the world stage”.