West Country beef and lamb to benefit from PGI
West Country beef and lamb producers could be set to benefit from Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2014.
The move follows a five-month European Commission consultation process, which covered the whole of the EU, where no oppositions were raised.
Now, the Commission is preparing to register the names West Country Beef and West Country Lamb, before marketing can begin.
Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West (MSW), the organisation behind the PGI application, said: “This is a key milestone and a very positive outcome, following a long process to obtain a PGI for West Country Beef and Lamb. We are delighted with the latest step in the process and look forward to marketing beef and lamb under the West Country PGI banner in the new year.”
Beef and lamb from the West Country will have to meet certain criteria in order to carry the PGI logo. It will then be badged as such and promoted on the environment in which it was reared.
In order to qualify, beef and lamb must come from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire. Meat animals will also have to be fed a diet of at least 70% forage-based foods.
“Eblex has put a lot of time and expertise into supporting this PGI application, so we are delighted by this news. It’s now up to the processors and the meat trade to embrace the West Country PGI to fulfil its marketing potential,” said Nick Allen, sector director for Eblex.
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