North West Wales

Anglesey sea salt wins EU protected status

Media captionThe protected status helps protect the authenticity and origin of the salt from imitation and fraud.

Sea salt from Anglesey can class itself in the same league as Parma Ham and Champagne after it was granted protected status.

The protected food name status was awarded by the European Commission.

It recognises foods, which are produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using recognised expertise.

West Country beef and lamb are also joining 62 unique British products with the marker.

A business expert says the award is likely to boost the company and wider Anglesey area.

Pembrokeshire Potatoes won the status in October, while the growers of Denbigh plums, have also applied for recognition.

Other products with the status already are Stilton cheese, Arbroath smokies, Newcastle Brown Ale and Melton Mowbray pies.

It is estimated the foods have helped contribute more than £900m to the European economy.

The prestigious award also helps protects the authenticity and origin of the food from imitation and fraud.

Business boost

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (Defra) is working with the food industry to inspire further applications for protected food name status.

The protected food name status is expected to benefit Halen Mon, a family-run business, which predicts it will be able to expand its workforce by 25% this year as a result of the award.

Alison Lea-Wilson from the firm, which began supplying locally 15 years ago but now sells to supermarkets and to outlets in 22 countries, said she was "absolutely delighted" with the award.

"Consumers can now be 100% sure that when they buy Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt they are getting a product which has been harvested and packed in Anglesey," she said.

Sonya Hanna, marketing lecturer at Bangor University, said the status was likely to boost the company and wider region.

"Being granted EU protected status for its Anglesey sea salt, Halen Mon, as the producer of this niche product, will aide in generating positive visibility.

"This may well induce investment and expansion leading to greater social economic benefits for the region as a whole."

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