Organic “Native Shetland Wool” is set to be given the highest level of protection assuring proof of provenance and breed, joining products such as Shetland Lamb, Cornish Clotted Cream and Blue Stilton Cheese in receiving Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) accreditation.
This will make it the UK’s first non food and drink product to be registered under the scheme, demonstrating the opportunity and value of by-products beyond the conventional food and drink offering.
PDO status, under the EU’s Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme, will afford Organic “Native Shetland Wool” legal protection, giving consumers the utmost guarantee that they are buying the genuine, premium product from Shetland.
The lengthy application process has meant a near 6-year wait for ShetlandOrganics CIC, a Community Interest Company of crofters and farmers formed to initiate a series of business development projects. Clearly, such definitive accreditation as the PDO requires determination on the part of producers. ShetlandOrganics is grateful for the assistance of both Scottish Government and DEFRA in guiding their progress through the system.
Formal legal protection comes into force 20 days following publication of the Commission Implementing Regulation in the EU Official Journal, this was published on 8 November..
The successful bid from ShetlandOrganics has come at the right time. Surging demand for genuine wool products has resulted in a huge rise in market prices for Scotland sheep fleece. This increase for Scotland’s sheep farmers is a welcome boost and after years of decline is at a 25 year high.