London, UK, 15-1-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — More than 60 unique British foods have now achieved protected status to help safeguard these iconic products and deliver a major boost to the economy.
Anglesey Sea Salt, West Country Beef and West Country Lamb have all today had their Protected Food Name (PFN) status confirmed by the European Union – joining the ranks of some of the UK’s best-loved foods such as Welsh Lamb, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Stilton cheese.
It’s estimated that these food items helped contribute more than £900 million to the European economy.
Sixty-two of these items have now gained the prestigious award which protects their authenticity and origin from imitation and fraud. Defra is working with the food industry to inspire further applications for Protected Food Name status.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally. We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognised. Having been awarded the protected food name status, the family business of Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt is expected to grow its workforce by 25% this year.
Alison Lea-Wilson from Halen Mon said;
We’re absolutely delighted that Halen Mon is the first Welsh PDO status and joins the other greats of Welsh Lamb and Beef and Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes. Consumers can now be 100% sure that when they buy Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt they are getting a product which has been harvested and packed in Anglesey.
Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West, said:
We are delighted to be awarded PGI status for West Country beef and lamb. We look forward to working with farmers and processors in the south west region to market top quality beef and lamb under the West Country PGI banner.
In 1993 EU legislation came into force which provides for a system for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis.
The EU Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The product is awarded one of three marks: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO); Protected Geographical Indication (PGI); and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). We’ve produced a simple visual guide to the Protected Food Name Scheme.
Producers who register their products for protection benefit from having a raised awareness of their product throughout Europe. This may in turn help them take advantage of consumers’ increasing awareness of the importance of regional and speciality foods.