Christmas Celebrations for Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese with Protected Geographical Indication Status Awarded from the European Commission
The Wensleydale Creamery, based at Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, has today (19 December 2013) been successful in achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission for its Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.
This early Christmas present for the much-loved Yorkshire brand ensures no other cheese-maker outside the Wensleydale area can produce a cheese and call it Yorkshire Wensleydale. In celebration, The Wensleydale Creamery will add the PGI symbol to its packaging, reaffirming its true Yorkshire Wensleydale credentials and helping shoppers differentiate it over other Wensleydale cheese, which are made in other counties.
Yorkshire Wensleydale’s unique creamy, crumbly taste, which is full of flavour is a result of the unique starter cultures that, combined with The Wensleydale Creamery’s cheese-making expertise, create a cheese with a unique texture and flavour that no other region can match. These unique elements, combined with the multi-award winning status and reputation based upon quality, consistency, provenance and authenticity of Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, secured this international seal of approval.
The Wensleydale Creamery also sources milk from local family farms, to help ensure the quality and authenticity of its Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, which also helps to contribute more than £10 million to the local Dales economy.
David Hartley, Managing Director of The Wensleydale Creamery, said: “All of the team at The Wensleydale Creamery are thrilled that our cheese has now been recognised by the European Commission. Our heritage and provenance makes Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese taste truly unique and we’re delighted this is now officially recognised.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their support for our application, including our dedicated staff at The Creamery, our local community and of course our loyal customers in the UK and around the globe. There could be no better early Christmas present for the whole team here and it is a great platform to propel us into 2014.”
Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon William Hague, was also delighted to hear of the achievement. He said: “Achieving PGI status means many things for Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese; it means more international recognition and more awareness of The Wensleydale Creamery, everybody can see this tremendous mark of quality and it commands national and international respect for this great product. Above all, it means that to be Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, you really have to be Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.
“For me, there is no greater delicacy in the world than Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and fruitcake. It has been great to see the business succeed and grow, especially over the last twenty years. The Wensleydale Creamery has become a great place for visitors to Wensleydale, as a tourist attraction, as well as producing this great range of remarkable cheeses.”
Farming Minister, George Eustice said: ‘It’s great to see Yorkshire Wensleydale join the growing number of British products registered under the protected food names scheme, especially at this time of year when the delicious cheese will be an essential item for the festive family cheeseboard. PGIs help to keep traditional recipes alive and make a valuable contribution to the local and national economy.”