Hop to it! Kent says cheers to Britain's first protected hops as East Kent Goldings become the first hops to gain Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
Defra have reported that the East Kent Goldings will be the toast of the county after becoming the first variety of hops to have their name legally protected against imitation.
The oldest known variety of hop grown in the UK has been awarded Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Commission in recognition of their quality, history, and links to the local area.
Defra is encouraging producers to apply for protected status for their products in order to take advantage of the wider markets in the UK and abroad arising from consumers' increasing awareness of where their food and drink comes from.
Food and Farming Minister David Heath said:
"PDOs help to keep traditional recipes alive and make a valuable contribution to the local and national economy. It's great to see a hop join the growing number of British products whose traditions and ties with their local area are being recognised. I'm sure all those involved will be raising a glass to toast their success."
The Protected Food Names scheme provides farmers and producers with a way in which to add value to their product, while helping consumers to identify foods with a clear regional provenance. The UK Protected Foods Names Association estimates that recognised products are worth around £1bn. East Kent Goldings are descended from the Canterbury Whitebine hop and were first identified by a member of the Golding family around 1790.
Tony Redsell, Director of TG Redsell Ltd who grow East Kent Goldings said:
"East Kent Goldings have a delicate floral aroma of lightly sweet lemon and are used in some of the finest ales and beers in the UK and USA. We are delighted that the unique character of the East Kent Golding has been recognised by the Commission by awarding the Protected Designation of Origin status."
Find out more about hops in the High Weald