Wensleydale cheese? Cracking cheese Gromit!

Back in the saddle after two very busy days coordinating the announcement that Wensleydale Creamery - our client - is applying for Protected Designation of Origin.
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) aims to promote and protect food products in the EU and is used to describe foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. This means that any manufacturers outside of Wensleydale cannot produce a cheese and call it Real Yorkshire Wensleydale.
Wensleydale Creamery, based in the picturesque market town of Hawes in the heart of Wensleydale and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, makes the only Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese in the world.
Managing Director David Hartley told me, and the world's Press: “The Wensleydale Creamery has been at the heart of the Yorkshire dale’s economy for many years. Over the past 14 years the staff and management at the Creamery have created a thriving business based on the precious commodity of Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese.
"The livelihoods of more than 190 Creamery workers and 36 farms in Wensleydale depend on the Creamery and we believe that Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese contributes more than £8m to the local economy. By putting forward our submission for PDO status we are not just protecting the future prosperity of Wensleydale and elevating our product above those manufacturers outside the region."
Wensleydale Cheese very much belongs to Yorkshire and we have been very encouraged by the support we have locally, regionally and nationally. Research has proven that consumers want greater emphasis to be placed on regional foods and also want to know that they are buying the genuine article.
Wensleydale Creamery has been hand crafting cheese for more than 100 years to time-honoured traditional recipes. Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese is made with milk from 36 farms in the dale.
For the Creamery it will mean that it can plan the future of its business with the security of knowing that producers from outside the region cannot pass off ersatz Wensleydale to consumers.
It will mean that cheese producers outside the designated area of Wensleydale cannot produce a cheese and call it Real Yorkshire Wensleydale. This will help protect the regional heritage of the cheese which directly impacts on the livelihoods of Wensleydale farmers and families. It will help to ensure that consumers are getting the real product – which is a hand-crafted cheese, made from real Wensleydale milk with a unique taste. We intend to place significant emphasis on further informing our consumers as to the fact that Real Yorkshire Wensleydale is the only genuine article.
This has been a great campaign to work on - it's got legs and will run for the next couple of months - not least because 14 years ago as business editor of the Northern Echo I launched a campaign to save the creamery when it was closed with the loss of 59 jobs. Yorkshire pride was insulted as production of Wensleydale cheese moved out of its home territory to Lancashire.
Six months later, following many offers to rescue the Creamery, a management buyout took place led by local businessman, John Gibson, and the management team, with the help of eleven members of the former workforce, cheese making recommenced in Wensleydale - with help from the Northern Echo. I was named Industrialist Journalist of the Year as a result.
What's been so encouraging is that the Yorkshire Post has launched a campaign to support us - check them out!
For those of you who read my blog you will appreciate the fact that we will shortly be launching a blog for Wensleydale some time in the next couple of weeks.
Watch this space in the weeks to come.

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