ARMAGH Bramley Apples have been awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under an EU scheme which promotes and protects names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs.
Three EU schemes known as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) encourage diverse agricultural production, protect product names from misuse and imitation and help consumers by giving them information concerning the specific character of the products.
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the news that the Armagh Bramley Apple has now become the third local product to be granted protected food name status under EU law.
Minister O’Neill said: “The Armagh Bramley Apple is widely recognised by professional chefs and home cooks alike as the best apple for cooking. It is encouraging to have our products recognised across the EU. PGI registration is good news for the local economy and will help local growers to market Armagh Bramley Apples domestically and further afield and will also provide protection against imitation. This will build consumer confidence in this product by providing reassurance of its origin.”
Newry & Armagh MLA William Irwin MLA said the move was a huge boost for the industry given the recognition the product will receive.
He stated: “I know many of the growers in this area personally and the producers are all very passionate about the brand and I know that fruit growers across the district will be thoroughly delighted with this achievement.
“The Bramley apple is iconic in the region and across Northern Ireland in my opinion nothing comes close in terms of the taste of this special product when used in all manner of recipes. The climate in this area is also important which helps give the Bramley a very unique taste compared to other cooking varieties and the special status it has now received is testament both to the quality of the product and also the very hard work of the industry Federation and our local producers here in and around Loughgall.”
He concluded: “When you next eat a tart or another product made with Armagh Bramleys you will be eating a world renowned and recognised unique apple and that is great news for the industry and also for the Armagh district. It is tremendous news and given Comber potatoes and Lough Neagh eels have also recently received special status it proves our agri-food industry is still forging ahead and performing strongly.”