Geographical Indicators and Wales: Food and drink producers helped by Welsh Government to acquire coveted accreditations

Inward investment is an important part of the Welsh food sector, with the Welsh government providing significant support into bolstering food and drinks companies in Wales. They also give Welsh companies a helping hand on the path to gain geographical indicators for key Welsh products.

A geographical indicator is an accreditation given to food and drinks products to protect their ties to a geographical location. For example, Scotch whisky and champagne are linked by geographical indicators to Scotland and the Champagne region of France, and products cannot call themselves Scotch whisky or champagne if not linked to these places.  

Wales has, over the past twenty years, seen a significant uptick in geographical indicators for its food and drink products, with, for example, its whisky recently being given protected status. The Welsh Government has a key role in this process, helping its food products attain geographical indicators at both a UK and EU level.

UK – Single Malt Welsh whisky

In July, single malt Welsh whisky became protected​ under a UK Geographical Indication (UKGI). This protects the name and characteristics of Welsh whisky. The Welsh government had a key role in helping whisky producers in their efforts to achieve this certification.

Being able to talk to Welsh government has just been brilliant​,” Ellen Wakelam, Director at In the Welsh Wind distillery, told FoodNavigator. The process was complex, she told us, involving not one but many Welsh whisky producers, and the Welsh Government has “been really instrumental in helping (producers) all sit down together and collaborate​.”