Connemara Hill Lamb recognised as a unique European product
The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today congratulated the Connemara Hill Lamb group on successfully achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for their product.
This means that the use of the name Connemara Hill Lamb is reserved exclusively for hill lamb born and reared within the designated area, and is protected against imitation, exploitation or misuse. Minister Coughlan said that the EU system for protecting geographical food names with a tangible link to the area where they originate demands stringent standards of authenticity before products can successfully achieve registration. The Minister said that the EU decision, while protecting the product against commercial misuse or exploitation, also assists in the promotion of fair competition and guarantees consistency of quality for the consumer.
Minister Coughlan said "I am particularly delighted to announce the registration of this unique product, unique to the far-famed Connemara Region. In protecting the traditional origins of our regional foodstuffs, we strengthen our regional identities and reinforce the link that Irish people have long held with the land".
Ms Áine Kerrigan Kinneavy, a spokesperson representing the Connemara Hill Lamb Group, said that Connemara Hill Lamb (Uain Sláibhe Chonamara) Group was delighted to receive this recognition which she said would assist them in marketing their natural and native product.
The Minister said she hoped that the success of the Connemara Hill Lamb Group would encourage other groups to register their geographical specialities.
28 February, 2007
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is open to products bearing the name of a particular geographical area and which are produced or processed or prepared within that geographical area and has a reputation, features or certain qualities attributable to that area. Other Irish products registered under the EU System are Clare Island Salmon Imokilly Regato Cheese and Timoleague Brown Pudding.
Connemara Hill Lamb traditionally matures at a slower rate and is available seasonally from July. The lamb has a specialised taste, a natural succulent flavour, and quality imbued from a diet of natural herbs, heathers and grasses unique to the region west of the Corrib System. The physical appearance of the lamb is a lean carcass, rose red in colour, a solid deep texture with a light cover of fat.
Date Released: 28 February 2007