An Irish baker who is applying for EU protected status for one of his products has urged bakers across the UK and Ireland to follow suit.

Dermot Walsh, co-owner of M&D Bakery in Waterford, is part of a group of bakers that have submitted an application for Protected Geographical Indication status for a local speciality known as a blaa. The white fluffy roll has been made in Waterford since the 17th century and, if the application is successful, would only be allowed to be made in the city using traditional methods. Currently only four craft bakers still produce blaas in Waterford.

While cheese, meat and beer producers in the UK have led the way in applying for protected status for their products, only a handful of bakery products have been protected, said Walsh.

"These designations can be a good route to protect traditional regional products from larger firms coming in and over-standardising them," said Walsh. "It’s a great way of elevating products to a new level everyone is looking for point of difference and a way to get a premium for their products."