The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has launched a national consultation on an application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for Wexford Blackcurrants under the European Union's PDO/PGI quality regime.
This quality regime recognises and protects foods with a unique link to a distinct geographical area, which in turn benefits local economies and food tourism.
Irish products that have attained PGI status include Clare Island salmon, Connemara Hill lamb and Waterford Blaa, with Kerry's Sneem black pudding currently awaiting a decision on its product.
The application describes Wexford Blackcurrants as "having a black colour, a calyx at the top and a skin which is described as glossy and contains several seeds. Wexford Blackcurrants have a distinctive flavour, depth of colour and a natural sweetness, with Brix levels ranging from 11 to 18, with levels of 14 or 15 being the norm," and that the main growing area is in 13 Townlands within the county.
Its link with Wexford is due to the soil type being well drained and aerated with a pH balance of between 6.5 and 6.8 as well as being exposed to an average 7 hours of sunshine in early summer, hence Wexford's nickname of 'The Sunny South East'.
The national consultation is to end on August 15 and then will be submitted to the European Union Commission for review.