Gower lamb first to receive legal protection following Brexit

The meat has become the first new food to receive protected status following Brexit (Photo: Welsh Government)
The meat has become the first new food to receive protected status following Brexit (Photo: Welsh Government)

Welsh Gower Lamb has become the first product to receive protected status under the UK's new post-Brexit Geographical Indication schemes.

With the registration now complete, the meat produced from lambs born and reared on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales has gained full protection as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

Gower Salt Marsh Lamb producers were able to demonstrate their meat’s characteristics are essentially and exclusively due to its particular area of production.

The new Geographical Indication (GI) schemes were launched after the end of the transition period with the European Union.

They were designed to ensure that popular and traditional products from across the country can obtain special status to mark out their authenticity and origin.

Producers whose foods are granted GI status benefit from intellectual property protection, so that others cannot imitate them.

Defra's farming minister Victoria Prentis said: "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.

"Our new GI schemes guarantee quality and excellence for food lovers at home and around the world."

Produced using skills dating back to medieval times, Gower Lamb comes from lamb born, reared and slaughtered in the Gower area of South Wales.

A seasonal product available from June until the end of December, the meat gains its unique characteristics from specific vegetation and environment of the salt marshes on the north Gower coastline, where lambs graze over long distances for more than half of their lifetime.

Historically, the north Gower salt marshes have supported thousands of sheep and are currently grazed by 3500 lambs per year.

Dan and Will Pritchard from Weobley Castle Farm, who produce the lamb, said they were 'so pleased' that Gower Lamb was now officially recognised.

"We are the third generation of Pritchards to farm in this amazing location, meaning that we’ve perfected our way of rearing lamb over the years," they said.

"We currently produce around 1,000 lambs per year – taking care of the whole process to create meat with a unique, local flavour of samphire and sea lavender.

"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."

Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has received official recognition of authenticity and provenance, meaning that verified producers can now use the GI logo on their product.