Senator Catherine Noone says she’s happy to see Irish food being recognised in Europe for its uniqueness – with the Waterford Blaa today being given protected status from the Commission. “Ireland makes the best food in the world, which is made obvious by us reaching €9bn in exports this year for the first time – our highest level ever. So I was happy to see that the Waterford blaa was given protected status, the same way as parma ham and feta cheese are both protected because of its heritage and unique characteristics.
Catherine added: “It might seem a bit silly – but there’s no question that there are plenty of places who have their own traditions and their own foods – and sometimes these need to be protected. With food and drink exports expanding beyond €9bn at the start of this year for the first time, it’s clear that things like this are needed in order to protect our image for exports, and also to allow us to continue to expand by developing the brands of our unique products based on our world-renowned heritage and geography”.
Senator Noone added: “I know that people in politics are often renowned for a bit of blah blah blah, so people will say it makes no difference to be talking about blaa, blaa, blaa – but it’s an important issue, and one about exports, trade and jobs. 1,000 foods across Europe are protected, with Portugal having 39 protected products, while Germany has 9 and Ireland only has 4. It’s clear that we can do more to protect our foods and continue to push our exports higher. Maybe a bit of blaa will achieve that!”.