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Anglesey sea salt's new status 'will protect its name'

A Welsh family business that started 18 years ago has been awarded one of the highest accolades in the European culinary world - a protected food name status.

The people behind Anglesey sea salt were honoured at a special event in London today as their product joined the likes of Welsh lamb and Stilton cheese.

The move comes after foreign companies were found to be selling something falsely claiming to be Anglesey sea salt.

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Anglesey salt company founder: 'Persistence pays'

David Lea-Wilson is the joint owner and founder of the Anglesey Sea Salt company. He told ITV News that finally securing protected status for Anglesey salt felt like a 'coming of age'.

"This is our 18th year.. and it is recognising that Anglesey means something in Europe. We're certifying that you're buying a bit of Anglesey; a bit of passionate workforce," he said.

"There have been ups and downs - and a lot of banging on doors that shut in our faces. But persistence pays."

Halen Mon Anglesey sea salt awarded protected status

The sea salt is harvested in the Menai Strait in Anglesey

Anglesey sea salt has joined the ranks of some of the UK's most famous foods, such as Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pies, by securing protected status.

The food has been awarded European Union protected food name status, which guarantees its authenticity and origin and prevents imitation products from using their name.

Protected food products in the UK contribute an estimated £900 million to the European economy, and the Government is keen to encourage more applications for protected status.

The founders of Halen Mon say they are delighted to secure protected status for their product

The protected food name status will help family business Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt increase its workforce by 25% this year, it predicts.

The company says it's delighted to secure "protected designation of origin" (PDO) as it joins other protected Welsh products such as Welsh lamb and beef and Pembrokeshire early potatoes.

Halen Mon exports to 20 countries and partners around the world.