WELSH Caerphilly cheese will today join a list of more than 1,400 protected products across the EU and beyond. 

The European Commission has approved the addition of the cheese to the quality register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI).

'Traditional Welsh Caerphilly’, also called ‘Traditional Welsh Caerffili' (both terms are protected) is a white, hard cheese with a mild slightly lemony taste.

It is made in Wales from pasteurised or raw milk produced on Welsh farms and is actually the only native cheese of this region.

The cheese is to be eaten young from 10 days old or can be matured for up to six months.

During the 19th century dairy schools were estab­lished throughout Wales to educate cheese producers and to pass on the specific skills and knowledge required.

The PGI status attests to the specific traditions and qualities of food, agricultural products and wines, produced in the EU or in other countries. 

Consumers can easily recognise these traditional quality products and rely on their authenticity. 

Registration under the scheme also provides producers with legal protection against imitation or misuse of the product name. 

In Wales Carmarthen Ham, Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes, Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are among the products already benefiting from PGI status.