The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum has been awarded protected food name (PFN) status by the European Commission, joining the ranks of Caerphilly Cheese, Halen Mon and Welsh Lamb.
The fruit, which had its application submitted by the Denbigh Plum Group, boasts the only native variety of plum in Wales and has seen a resurgence of plums being grown in the area over the last decade. The Denbigh Plum is the 16th Welsh product, and Wales’ first fruit, to gain the EU’s prestigious protected food name status.
The EU Scheme recognises quality agricultural food and drink products that surpass strict qualifying criteria. Food and drink products awarded protected food name status under the EU Scheme receive Europe-wide protection against imitation, misuse and fraud. The European Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which forms part of one of three special European Protected Food Name (PFN) designations will help raise the profile of Denbigh Plum, Denbigh town and its surrounding area too. The Welsh Government is working with Defra to ensure the current PFNs continue to enjoy protection rights within the UK once we leave the European Union through the creation of a new scheme replicating the existing benefits.
The new scheme will continue the successful legacy of PFNs in Wales and provide vital support as the EU Scheme transitions into a new UK scheme. The scheme will also continue to support producers in Wales to achieve the EU status under new terms once we exit Europe. The Welsh Government has provided support to PFN producers for more than six years and its funded programme is part of the reason why Wales has been so successful in developing and achieving new PFNs in the last decade.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “I’m delighted The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum has been honoured with protected food name status and hope it will prove a welcome boost for businesses in the area. With Brexit fast approaching, we are determined to support Welsh food and drink businesses and ensure they are given all necessary help in a challenging marketplace. This prestigious title should help strengthen the Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum identity and allow it to further its brand not only in Wales, but across Europe and other markets too.”
She added: “We are proud that so many Welsh food and drink businesses such as Denbigh Plum have been successful in their applications for protected food name status. It is testament to the high quality and unique nature of their produce.”
Peter Jones, chairman of the Denbigh Plum Group, said: “This will have a positive effect on not only Denbigh but the whole of the Vale of Clwyd. Over the last ten years we have seen a massive resurgence in plums being grown in the area and it is fantastic to see this hallmark of quality is now being recognised across Europe. We have long campaigned for this protected food name status and will now concentrate our efforts on further promoting the Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum and supporting efforts to cultivate it and grow it in the area.”
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