Lesley Griffiths, today sampled some of North Wales’ finest produce at the Anglesey Show and reassured producers the industry was in a strong position to meet post-Brexit challenges.
The Cabinet Secretary also used her time at the Show to discuss possible implications of the EU referendum result on the EU Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme.
There are currently seven products with EU Protected Status in Wales, giving consumers reassurance of the quality and authenticity of the products. Producers also benefit from protection from future imitation and say they are at a significant advantage by being part of the EU scheme.
Conwy Mussels is the latest Welsh product to join the elite ranks of Welsh produce protected by the scheme, alongside products such as Anglesey Sea Salt and Pembrokeshire New Potatoes.
The Cabinet Secretary has reassured producers the UK Government has indicated an intention to introduce a British law to safeguard protected status for food and drink once the UK leaves the EU and the Welsh Government would support this.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sampling some of North Wales’ best produce and meeting fantastic producers from across the region at today’s show. North Wales is an area blessed with some excellent food and drink and the Anglesey Show is an opportunity to showcase this.
“Today has also been another opportunity for me to meet food and drink producers to discuss their concerns following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the implications this will have on their business. Our food and drink sector is one of our economic success stories and we remain committed to supporting the industry to build on its achievements.
“I want to reassure producers we are fighting for the UK to negotiate to retain access to the Single Market and would support the UK Government to introduce a British law to safeguard protected status for food and drink.
“The EU Protected Food Names scheme currently has registered products from outside the EU, including as far as China and Thailand, so there is also a strong case of negotiating our continued part in this scheme, which we will also be urging the UK Government to do.”