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Oriel Sea Salt Joins European List Of Protected Foods

31st August 2016
Oriel Sea Salt Joins European List Of Protected Foods

#SeaSalt - Marine Minister Michael Creed has welcomed the European Commission's approval of the addition of Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals to the quality register of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO).

“This is great news for the producers of two special products from the bay of Port Oriel in Co Louth," said the minister. "Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals join the list of recognised and protected EU food names with a unique link to a particular locality in terms of quality, characteristics and tradition.”

The PDO register is a geographical indication, or GI, system that recognises quality foods with traditional connections to places and regions within Europe, such as Champagne in France and feta cheese in Greece.

"The Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals names will enjoy the same protection recognition as Imokilly Regato PDO, Connemara Hill Lamb PGI and the Waterford Blaa/Blaa PGI," the minister added.

Following national consultation, two further applications had been submitted to the European Commission this year: a PDO application for Sneem black pudding and a PGI application for Wexford blackcurrants.

Acknowledging what's described as a rigorous application process, Minister Creed said that his department was actively engaging with a number of producers with a view to progressing applications to national consultation stage.

“I think that there is real prospect that this engagement could result in Ireland doubling its PDO/PGI products," he said. "I really would also like to see a successful Irish application for Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) status so that Ireland would feature in each of the three food GI regimes.

"This emphasis on quality recognition is entirely consistent with national policy for the development of the food sector and builds on Ireland’s already strong international reputation as a producer of world class food."

Oriel Sea Salt is harvested from the bay of Port Oriel at Clogherhead in Co Louth. It is almost powder-like to the touch and is naturally crystal white so it does not need to be washed or rinsed.

Oriel Sea Salt is affected by the deep water currents, cleanliness, mineral content and purity of the water in this location.

Harvesting of sea salt in Port Oriel dates back centuries, when salt was a vital ingredient in preserving fish landed at the harbour for consumption, storage and subsequent transport to market.

Oriel Sea Minerals, which are concentrated sea mineral salts in liquid form, also received PDO status this week.

Published in News Update
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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