An application for English Beef and English lamb to be given Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status has been launched by EBLEX as an addition to the body's already established Quality Standard Mark (QSM).
The application, now going through the consultation process, would mean English beef and lamb would join Welsh beef and lamb and Scotch beef and lamb as having the advantages of PGI standing.
Any food processed or prepared in a specific geographic area and has a reputation, features or particular qualities attributable to the area can apply for PGI.
Andrew Garvey, EBLEX head of marketing, said the PGI status gave those smaller producers in the local supply chain, who couldn't meet the requirements of the Quality Standard Mark, to use another scheme. He explained the PGI status gave geographical assurance and the QSM gave product assurance. However, he said EBLEX would continue to use the QSM campaign as its main marketing tool.
Garvey added: "By having PGI status it would allow the same protection of the words 'English beef' and 'English lamb' in the same way that there is protection for the Welsh and the Scots...We also felt it was right to have the same options available for the English stakeholders. It puts them on a par with the Scots and the Welsh."