NFU supports West Country brand application
A bid to get Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for beef and lamb from the West Country has won the backing of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
A 12-week consultation was launched last week into the plans to give grass-produced beef and lamb reared in the region the protected statutes.
This could then be used to aid promotional activity both nationally and internationally with the aim of increasing demand for South West beef and lamb.
Alistair Mackintosh, NFU livestock board chairman, said: “We trail behind other European countries, which have protected status on many of their food products, and it’s important that we value our foods and their regional characteristics in the same way.
“There has never been a better time to progress this application. The growth in European markets means approval from the European Commission will ensure our West Country lamb and beef is recognised around the world, which will hopefully lead to a more sustainable future. We fully support this proposal, and urge our members to get involved and have their say.”
John Hore, NFU South West livestock board chairman, added: “We really want our local businesses to support this application. By promoting our grass-based production systems we are helping to safeguard our regional farmers and methods, we are protecting local jobs. With many people in the South West depending on the farming industry for their livelihood, this would ensure the product’s quality and marketability is protected for years to come.”