Camarthen Ham granted EU protected name status
14th Oct 2016 / By Alistair Driver
Camarthen Ham has been granted protected name status by the European Commission, joining the likes of Melton Mowbray pork pies and Welsh beef on the list.
The Commission describes Camarthen Ham (image from www.carmarthenham.co.uk) as an air-dried, salt-cured ham made from pig legs with a characteristic delicate aroma typical of air-dried ham. The ham disintegrates when pulled and has a silky soft texture.
These two new denomination, along with one for ‘Poulet du Périgord’, a slow-growing chicken variety reared and produced in southern France, will be added to the list of over 1,360 products already covered by Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) status.
Brexit has placed a question mark over the future of PGI status, one of three European designations created to protect regional foods that have a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to that area.
The status prevents manufacturers from outside a region copying a regional product and selling it as that regional product.
Brothers Chris and Jonathan Rees, the latest of five generations to produce the ham, told the BBC they were ‘over the moon with the announcement. The family makes just 700-800 legs of the traditionally air-dried ham a year.
They said: "It's taken six years and we had a bit of a scare with this Brexit, but we've finally got there.
"We're self-employed butchers, a small cottage industry, but we can put protected status on it from now on."
A Defra spokeswoman said: "Wales is a huge source of pride for Britain's food and drink sector.
"It's good to see Carmarthen Ham receiving recognition and further boosting the British brand at home and around the world.”