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, joining the likes of Scotch Whisky and Wensleydale Cheese.
Launched after the end of the Brexit transition period, the GI schemes are designed to ensure that popular and traditional products from across the country can obtain special status to mark out their authenticity and origin.
The UK government then works to ensure these products are appropriately protected from imitation, which is achieved in collaboration with the devolved administrations and regional counterparts who have an advisory role and support applicants.
Commenting on the new schemes, food minister Victoria Prentis said: “I am really pleased to see Gower Salt Marsh Lamb gain protected status and I can think of no better product to kick start our new scheme with.
“We want people, at home and abroad, to be lining up to buy British. I would encourage producers from all around the UK to apply to the scheme, so that we can celebrate and protect more of our excellent local produce, and ensure it is given the recognition that it deserves.”
Born, reared and slaughtered
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb comes from lamb born, reared and slaughtered in the Gower area of South Wales, from which the meat gains its characteristics from specific vegetation and environment of the salt marshes on the north Gower coastline.
Dan and Will Pritchard from Weobley Castle Farm, producer of Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, added: “We are so pleased that Gower Salt Marsh Lamb is now officially recognised and registered under the new UK GI schemes.
“This recognition means that the reputation of our regional product is protected, and it helps us promote traditional agricultural practices and eliminate non-genuine products.”
Meanwhile, domestic lamb sales gained a welcome boost in the past year as the COVID-19 lockdown drove up demand for takeaway fare such as kebabs, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).