Britain’s oldest smoked salmon business, H Forman and Sons, has been awarded the sought-after Protected Geographical Indication, or PGI, status, after a four-year-long application process.

Owner and chairman of the east London-based company, Lance Forman, said the achievement of PGI was “thrilling”. The status has been awarded to Forman’s “London Cure” smoked salmon, which also has kosher certification. Mr Forman said: “Not only is this the first smoked salmon in the world to achieve this award, but it is the first ever London-based food or drink to be recognised for this accreditation”.

Granting a food product PGI status entitles it to be the only such product allowed to describe itself as from a particular region or area — as with Champagne or Gorgonzola. It marks the luxury status of the product.

To mark what Mr Forman described as “a historic milestone in our 112 year old family business”, who better to invite to celebrate than the Secretary of State for Environment and Food, Michael Gove MP — whose adoptive father ran a fish processing business in Aberdeen. Mr Gove was due to join the Forman family at the salmon smokehouse on Thursday.

Michael Gove MP praised the business’s work, saying: “London Cure Smoked Salmon has been cherished by food lovers in the capital for generations and the traditional skills used to produce it today are testament to the rich culinary heritage we have in this country.”

Prime Minister Theresa May added that their new status is “recognition of the hard work H. Forman & Son has put into the business.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “H.Forman & Son is a great example of what this city has to offer as a traditional London firm that has adapted and thrived over the years to become the best in their business”.

 Lance Forman with Michael Gove, inspecting smoked salmon

Lance Forman with Michael Gove, inspecting smoked salmon