Armagh Bramley apples have joined the Cornish pasty and the Melton Mowbray pork pie in being awarded protected status from the EU.

Bramley apples grown within the Archdiocese of Armagh in Northern Ireland – which includes the counties of Armagh and Tyrone and part of County Londonderry - now hold Protected Geographical Indication status. It means they will be protected against imitation throughout the EU.

Receiving PGI status was recognition that the Armagh Bramley had a special taste and composition, said chairman of the Northern Ireland Fruit Growers Association, John Beggs.

“The EU award recognises the sharper, cleaner and slightly tarter taste of the Armagh Bramley compared to apples from orchards in England.” It was also an important boost to the Bramley apple growing industry in County Armagh, he added.

The Bramley was introduced to Armagh in 1884. County Armagh orchards produce over 40,000 tonnes of Bramley apples each year.