Meat & Livestock News

Karoo Lamb from South Africa Gains Protection Similar to Champagne

South African Karoo Lamb Achieves Geographical Indication Status

The unique lamb, raised in the arid Karoo region, is known for its distinct flavour from local vegetation.

South Africa has secured protection for its lamb meat from the dry Karoo region under the Geographical Indication status.

This means that only meat cuts from young sheep, raised in free-range conditions in this region, can be officially labelled as “Karoo Lamb”, as announced by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in the recent Government Gazette. The lamb’s distinct aroma and taste are directly influenced by the native herbaceous plants of the Karoo.

This recognition places Karoo Lamb on par with other geographically protected products like Parma ham and Champagne.

Charles Erasmus, the executive manager at the Karoo Lamb Consortium—a non-profit that gathered scientific evidence of the connection between the lamb and its native region—highlighted the significance of this registration.

The implication of this status is that Karoo Lamb can be marketed and sold at a higher price compared to other lamb products.

The subsequent phase involves the South African government seeking similar protection for Karoo Lamb within the European Union, as shared by Johann Kirsten, the director of the Bureau for Economic Research based in Stellenbosch.

Reflecting on the achievement, Kirsten, who has championed this cause for the industry for over ten years, remarked, “This is a landmark day for South Africa.”