The traditional method of farming involves growing roots in fields for two years, then replanting them in sheds and keeping them in dark, moist conditions for 10 weeks-the lack of light draws energy from the plants’ roots. The method was created especially for the soil in that area, and produces sweet, delicate pink rhubarb.
In recent years, it’s come under threat, as rhubarb sales have gone down and growers in Holland have imitated the forcing method. There are now only 12 growers remaining in Yorkshire’s ‘rhubarb triangle’.
Janet Oldroyd-Hulme, of the Yorkshire Rhubarb Growers’ Association, who applied for the PDO status, hopes that it will boost the local industry and guarantee the local farmers’ future, as well as encourage more tourists to come and visit the Rhubarb Trail.
Environmental Secretary Hilary Benn, who was involved in the campaign, said: ‘Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has been recognised thanks to the quality of this traditionally grown product and the enthusiasm and commitment shown by all involved.
‘I want to see even more of the best of British produce being protected.’
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