Wensleydale: A Yorkshire institution

The Wensleydale Creamery in Yorkshire is one step closer to realising their goal of achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for their cheese, according to an article in the Yorkshire Post.  This would provide the Yorkshire cheese with the same protection as products such as Parma Ham and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, ensuring that no other cheese makers could use the name ‘Real Yorkshire Wensleydale’.

The original recipe, now over 800 years old, is still used in the production of the cheese. As the managing director of the Wensleydale Creamery, David Hartley, commented: ‘Applying for PGI status will protect the integrity and provenance of our cheese and elevate it above and differentiate it from manufacturers outside the region.’

The desire for protection is not only a matter of status and the acknowledgement of the original Wensleydale cheese as the true product.  The production of the cheese employs a number of people in the area, and the granting of PGI for Real Yorkshire Wensleydale would ensure that the business can continue to thrive, keeping workers and farmers in Yorkshire in employment.

The application for PGI has been approved by Defra, and supported by the UK Government.  There will now be six months in which other countries can object, and then the European Commission will have opportunity to validate Wensleydale Creamery’s application.

Wensleydale is a world-renowned product, and its fame increased with its appearance in the Wallace and Gromit animations.  It is a product that Yorkshire should be proud of. With the current trends for British-produced food, and using local suppliers looking set to continue, Wensleydale can only gain in popularity. Wouldn’t it be great if Wensleydale became a product with a world-class reputation, such as Champagne or Parmigiano-Reggiano?

What other products do you think deserve similar protection? Does your local farm or dairy produce something that you think is outstanding and everyone should try?

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