West Country PGI meat hits supermarket shelves

West Country beef and lamb bearing the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) label have hit the supermarket shelves.

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for beef and lamb from the West Country is set to come in force later this year but Westcountrybeefandlamb.org reported that some supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have already started to offer beef and lamb bearing the West Country PGI banner.

Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West, said: “I’m delighted that some of the nation’s major multiples have come on board on board to sell West Country beef and lamb. It’s taken us many years of hard work to secure the PGI status and is very encouraging to see major retailers recognise the fine product our region has to offer.”

The PGI status means meat from the West Country can be badged and promoted on the basis of a farm’s rearing environment. To qualify as West Country Beef or West Country Lamb, meat must be from stock born, raised and slaughtered in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire and fed at least a 70% forage-based diet.

Nick Allen, sector director for Eblex, which supported the application, said: “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.”

The West Country joins Scotland and Wales who already hold PGI status for Scotch and Welsh beef and lamb.

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