A consultation has been launched on the application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for ‘Comeragh Mountain Lamb’.

The national consultation has been launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the European Union quality regime.

This regime recognises and protects foods with a unique link to a distinct geographical area, and so benefits local economies and food tourism, the department explained.

Comeragh Mountain Lamb is described as the meat from lambs, mainly of the Scotch Blackface breed, born and raised in the Comeragh Mountain region of Co. Waterford.

According to the department, the lambs graze on the distinct and abundant habitat of wild grasses, flowers and herbs in the twelve Coums (Irish for “fertile hollow“) in the Comeragh mountain range.

This provides the lamb with its particular flavor and delicate texture, the department added.

Interested parties may submit comments up to Thursday, August 24 of this year. Details on how to submit comments are available online.

On completion of the national consultation, the PGI application will be submitted to the EU Commission for review.

The diet of lambs born and reared in the Comeragh mountain range must be at least 70% forage-based.

During the winter months the lambs’ diet is supplemented with locally-grown hay or silage. The lambs’ feed may be supplemented for finishing, conditioning or welfare reasons.

In this case a record of the feed will be kept by the farmer. At no stage will the supplementary feed exceed 30% of the total feed. The lambs are reared outdoors at all times and are only housed during exceptional adverse weather conditions.

Currently, Ireland has four confirmed PGI products; these include Clare Island Salmon, Connemara Hill Lamb, Timoleague Brown Pudding and Waterford Blaa.

Other products which are seeking PGI status in Ireland include Sneem Black Pudding, Imokilly Regato and Wexford Blackcurrants.

Meanwhile, there are also three Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products declared in Ireland – including Imokilly Regato, Oriel Sea Minerals, and Oriel Sea Salt.