The Wensleydale Creamery, based at Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, has been successful in achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission for its Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.
Achieving PGI status will ensure no other cheese-maker outside the designated area can produce a cheese and call it Yorkshire Wensleydale.
The long awaited decision by the European Commission comes as an early Christmas present for The Wensleydale Creamery and their famous brand, cementing the heritage and provenance of its handcrafted Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.
In celebration of this newly acquired status, The Wensleydale Creamery is adding the PGI symbol to its packaging, reaffirming its true Yorkshire Wensleydale brand identity and helping to differentiate it over other Wensleydale cheese in the marketplace, which are made in other counties. Additionally, The Wensleydale Creamery will support this brand accolade with a Marketing campaign during 2014.
Yorkshire Wensleydale’s unique creamy, crumbly taste, which is full of flavour is derived from 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 PGI status.
"Above all, it means that to be Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, you really have to be Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese."- Right Hon. William Hague MP
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 with PGI status.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their support for our application from our dedicated staff at The Creamery, our local community and of course our loyal customers in the UK and around the globe. PGI status is another vital part of our business growth plan and ensures The Wensleydale Creamery’s long term aim of keeping Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese production in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales for generations is now a reality.”
The Right Honourable William Hague MP also demonstrated his support for their PGI announcement. The Foreign Secretary and representative of the constituency of Richmond (Yorkshire), which encompasses The Wensleydale Creamery’s site at Hawes, commented:
“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’s 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.”
For further information on The Wensleydale Creamery please visit www.wensleydale.co.uk and for further information on Protected Geographical Indication please click here.