Protected Status and the Ark of Taste
In 2009, after a 10 year process, we received PGI status for our product Grimsby Traditionally Smoked Fish. Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status is an exclusive quality award from the EU given to food products that utilise unique traditional skills in their production.
PGI status not only gave international recognition to our specialist type of smoking process, it also formalised the process to ensure that smoked fish with this prized distinction is smoked for a minimum of twelve hours and is of a certain size and quality and not coloured. Most importantly though it sets Grimsby Traditionally Smoked Fish apart from the more common mechanically kiln smoked fish and has been endorsed by well known chefs Rick Stein and Mitch Tonks.
Grimsby Traditionally Smoked Fish was only the 39th food product in the UK to receive PGI status and one of only a few seafood products to have this accolade.
Additionally it is also included in the even more selective Slowfood Ark of Taste. Unlike the government sponsored PGI, Slowfood is very much a grassroots movement, which began in Italy to celebrate specialist traditional food processes but is now successful in many places around the world. It is now increasingly recognised in Britain and is being championed by Chef Richard Corrigan and supported by many other leading chefs. Slowfood is responsible for organising events and promotions around the country to raise the awareness of traditional and sometimes forgotten regional foods. With recent funding from the Seafish Industry Authority we have been able to get actively involved in some of these events around the country as well through the creation of a website dedicated to proper traditionally smoked fish produced throughout the UK www.traditionallysmoked.co.uk
With these initiatives and a new awareness of the shortcomings of mass produced food, the demand for natural traditionally produced food can only increase. And yet because of the artisanship and time taken to produce Grimsby Traditionally Smoked Fish it will always remain a niche product for those who desire foods of real quality and integrity.