This article was written by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
Pedigree Welsh Pork has been granted a very special designation by the EU, making it easier for chefs and food producers to identify Welsh pork. It has become the first product in Wales to be awarded the coveted Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) status. Only two other UK meat products have a similar designation – Traditional Farmfresh Turkeys and Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork.
As a result of achieving TSG status, it is impossible to pass off cheap imitations as being pedigree Welsh pork. The pigs have to be pedigree animals and registered with the British Pig Association, Welsh Pig Society or similar breed association. All the animals have to be reared according to traditional methods. It has given Pedigree Welsh Pork much stronger legal protection.
Bob Stevenson, chairman of the Pedigree Welsh Pig Society commented;
“Consumers can now be 100% certain when buying traditionally reared Pedigree Welsh Pork that its provenance is assured. It really demonstrates how unique the Welsh pig is.”
His comments were echoed by Welsh Government Rural Affairs secretary Lesley Griffifths who said;
“This is further confirmation of what we already know – Wales produces world-leading food and drink. Our Protected Food Name basket is growing, giving recognition to our producers dedication to quality.”
Achieving the designation took four years together with considerable investment and support from the Welsh Government. Brexit does pose a problem over the long term value of the Protected Name System. The Welsh Government, and the Protected Names Association are working with DEFRA to ensure its continuation. There are already products from outside the EU that are protected under the Protected Names designation. Lesley Griffiths commented;
“There are other countries outside of Europe with protected food names. This sets a precedent for the UK to consider a similar reciprocal scheme in the future.”