Welsh grown plums bid for protected status

welsh plum

The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh plum is being considered under the EU protected food name scheme and could be edging closer to receiving the special status.

"The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum" (Prunus domestica Linnaeus)” is
the name given to the Denbigh plum grown in the designated geographical area in North Wales from where the plum originates.

It is the only plum variety native to Wales and the unique environmental and geographical factors in the Vale of Clwyd provide the perfect conditions for these plums to thrive because of a particular microclimate unique to the U-shaped rift valley.

This land has some of the most naturally fertile soils in the UK providing all the nutrients
that the plum trees and fruit need, while the soils present in the Vale can retain nutrients like potassium, magnesium and calcium, key requirements for the plums.

The free draining medium textured deep soils are naturally occurring in the
Vale of Clwyd and encourage the development of strong root architecture which is vital
for the plum trees and the production of quality fruit.

These factors and more are detailed in the official application for the PGI status which is under consideration.

The EU protected food name scheme covers regionals and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed.

And the PGI mark will only be given if the Welsh-grown plums are considered to have the reputation, characteristics and qualities that are as a result of the area they are associated with.

History of the plum

Although the actual age of “The Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum” is unknown, there is historical evidence that the same variety has been grown in the designated area for centuries and was well established in gardens across the Vale of Clwyd by the 1850s. It was then that the Vale of Clwyd Horticultural Society held its first annual show at Denbigh, according to the application.

Characteristics

The plum has different characteristics depending on whether it is required for culinary purposes and harvested mid-August before they are ripe, or required as a dessert plum when the fruit ripens on the tree and is harvested in late August or early September.

Culinary plums are firm to touch, orangey-red in colour with yellow patches when the plum begins to ripen. The flesh is firm with a rich yellow and greenish amber tint.

In contrast, the dessert plum starts to soften when gently squeezed and has a rich red shading, often described as towards purple in colour and strewn with golden speckles. It also has a Brix level of 16-19.

If PGI status is granted, it means the Welsh grown plums will have official protection, giving consumers the security that they are buying a genuine product.

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