Carmarthen Ham has been awarded protected name status by the EU after a "bit of a scare" with the Brexit vote, its producers said.

The Welsh ham is now protected by European protected geographical indication (PGI) status, which is one of three protected food name designations.

Brothers Chris and Jonathan Rees, who are the latest in five generations of the family to produce the air-dried ham, say they are "over the moon".

"It's six years down the line, and we had a bit of a scare with this Brexit, but we've finally got there", said Mr Rees.

We're self-employed butchers, a small cottage industry, but we can put protected on it from now on. It takes time, patience and personal knowledge to produce this air-dried ham.

Chris Rees

Carmarthen Ham is dry salt-cured and air dried, and the family produces just 700 to 800 legs a year.

"Wales is a huge source of pride Britain's food and drink sector - from Halen Mon sea salt in the north to Pembrokeshire new potatoes in the south - it is home to some of the country's culinary big-hitters", said a Defra spokesperson.

It's good to see Carmarthen Ham receiving recognition and further boosting the British brand at home and around the world.

Defra spokesperson

Welsh beef, Melton Mowbray pork pies, and Jersey Royal potatoes are among the UK protected food names worth a combined £1 billion.

The legislation protecting these foods comes from the EU Protected Foods Name Scheme, and a number of producers have voiced concerns that it could be lost to them as a result of Brexit.

They have urged the Government to ensure that protected name status is observed not just within the UK but also globally, as companies negotiate trade deals beyond the EU in the wake of Brexit.