Protected Designation of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb
Yorkshire-grown-rhubarb finally got protected name designation and rhubarb-recognition for Yorkshire forced rhubarb in February 2010.
At one time, over 90% of the forced rhubarb globally, all came from the forced rhubarb sheds of Yorkshire in England. Keeping these plants in total darkness has long been a cultivation process since the 1800's.
Hundreds of farmers used this process for farming their rhubarb and it was sent by rail to numerous French and English markets. Due to a strike, this method of transportation ceased, and the popularity of rhubarb ceased as well for a time.
Farmers (12 in total) within the rhubarb triangle made application to the European Commission Protected Food Name to have their names legally protected.
For six years, they petitioned for this.
Being a part of the process and having this protected designation means access to European funding to promote your product, and protection legally speaking, against others outside the Triangle area who try to use the name, or pass off their products as yours.
This process has been followed with foods such as Parma Ham, Champagne, Stilton Cheese, Italian Cheese such as Ricotta Romana and Alsace Honey. This is just a tiny example from over 1200 names that already belong to this formal list.
Having a name on the list is like joining the "Food Elite" and it's important.
And so now, forced Yorkshire rhubarb has it's protected status, and no-one else outside the Triangle can claim this designation commercially.
This way of farming rhubarb has taken place traditionally for such a long time. It is truly a unique process involving hard work and patience. It was thought so important to apply for and protect this status. Many people were passionate about this issue, and now that this status has been achieved, it's a very proud and well-deserved reward for the region.
Yorkshire-grown-rhubarb has definately put the region on the map, especially with the emphasis on the Wakefield Festival held annually. This rhubarb-recognition has been a long time coming.
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