Gute sheep to be labeled? Hushållningssällskapen (the Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies) want the Gutefår (Gute sheep) to be labeled with the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origins. The Gute is a landrace breed of domestic sheep native to the island of Gotland and also the most primitive breed native to Sweden. If labeled as such, it would mean a lamb steak from Gotland would have the same exclusive status as the Italian prosciutto or the Kalix bleak roe.
Food will be the focus for Gotland this year, as the island has been appointed Årets mathuvudstad 2013 (the capital of food 2013) by Minister for Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, and his advisors. With that appointment, it is hoped more people, Swedes and non-Swedes alike, will discover produce and dishes from Gotland.
“A label of origin would increase both the value and the attractiveness of the products. It is very important how Sweden as an international food country can show that it has excellent products,” says Riina Noodapera from Hushållningssällskapen. A Gute sheep marked with the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origins would mean the price would go up in grocery stores, unlike other slaughtered sheep. The meat is different in its structure, and that affects the taste. Few Swedish products carry this label; the one with the strongest protection is the Kalix bleak roe, but Noodapera believes Sweden ought to have more.
Read more about the island here: Gotland - Captivating Island of Art and Design