Welsh Cambrian Mountains Lamb given protected status

210921 Cambrian Lamb
Credit: Welsh Government

Welsh Cambrian Mountains lamb has become the latest food to be granted protected status in the UK following Brexit.

The meat, from lambs born and reared in the Cambrian Mountains area of mid-Wales, has been registered under the Geographical Indication scheme.

It is intended to ensure popular and traditional products from across the country are recognised for their authenticity and origin, and therefore cannot be imitated.

The mark is similar to the EU protected status scheme, which preserves the geographical origin of food items like Halloumi, Parma ham and Champagne.

Last month Gower Salt Marsh lamb became the first product in Wales to be awarded special legal protection since the UK left the European Union.

Cambrian Mountains lamb has been recognised for the way it is produced using the “Hafod a Hendre” system of farming, which dates back to the Middle Ages.

The animals grow at a naturally slow pace, while grazing in the hills and mountains during the summer and autumn. The lamb matures slowly over more than 16 weeks, before being sold to customers.

It follows after Gower Salt Marsh lamb was the first meat to be given the label.

There are now 91 GIs registered from across the UK – 81 agricultural products, five wines and five spirit drinks.

Of those, 18 are from Wales. They include:

  • PGI Welsh Beef

  • PGI Welsh Lamb

  • Pembrokeshire Earlies PGI

  • Anglesey Sea Salt PDO

  • Conwy Mussels PDO

  • Carmarthen Ham PGI

  • Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork TSG

  • West Wales Coracle Caught Salmon PGI

  • West Wales Coracle Caught Sewin PGI

  • Welsh Laverbread PDO

  • Traditional Welsh Perry PGI

  • Traditional Welsh Cider PGI

  • Welsh Wine PDO

  • Welsh Regional Wine PGI

  • Traditional Welsh Caerphilly PGI

  • The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum PDO

  • Gower Salt Marsh Lamb PDO

  • Cambrian Mountains Lamb PGI

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Following the awarding of protected status to Gower Salt Marsh lamb during the summer, this latest announcement highlights, once again, the quality of Welsh lamb and is testament to the skill of those who produce it.

“Wales’ range and quality of food and drink is renowned across the world and the UK Government continues to protect and promote our iconic produce with the new GI schemes.

“Guaranteeing the authenticity of Welsh food and drink helps cement our reputation for quality both at home and in new international markets.”

The Welsh Government's Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “This is great news today and I want to congratulate the producer group on their success and welcome them into the Welsh GI family.

“Their wonderful product is another example of the iconic food and drink Wales has to offer.

“There are several other exciting Welsh food and drink products currently applying for the UK GI status and I look forward to seeing the Welsh GI family continuing to grow.”

Huw Davies from Aberdauddwr Farm and a member of the producer group said: “We are really pleased to achieve this UK GI status; in recognition of the unique product, we produce in these hills which is the ‘Cambrian Mountains Lamb’.

"Having UKGI status, I hope the consumer will be able to enjoy Cambrian Mountains Lamb for many years to come."

What makes Cambrian Mountains Lamb special?

Cambrian Mountain Lamb is a seasonal Welsh product.

After spending winter in the valley, lambs are shepherded up to the hills for summer grazing on natural pastureland rich in varied grasses and herbs.

This contributes to the taste of Cambrian Mountains Lamb and produces a lighter weight hill lamb.

They are produced from ewes that are predominantly either Welsh Mountain or from other traditional Welsh native hill breeds.