Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb earns place on EU list of protected regional foods

Growers have praised the Government for adding rhubarb to a super league of specially protected food and drink that includes champagne and Parma ham.

Regional Food Group (RFG) for Yorkshire and Humber welcomed Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb's (YFR) new Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.

The rhubarb is traditionally hand-picked by candlelight within the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle between Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford.

Under the legislation, the vegetable will enjoy legal protection of a geographical recipe that ensures sweet, tender, pink rhubarb. It will carry a special logo.

RFG chief executive Jonathan Knight said: "Meetings with the 12 key growers culminated in this result to confirm the rhubarb triangle as the home of forced rhubarb."

Grower Janet Oldroyd of E Oldroyd's & Sons said: "Awarding PDO status to YFR is fantastic news for British food.

"There were once 200 YFR growers. Achieving this status will help to avoid imitation of the product, safeguarding rhubarb production in the area."

Environment secretary Hilary Benn commented last week: "YFR has been recognised thanks to the quality of this traditionally-grown product."

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