Welsh food industry to discuss future of food names

Representatives from the Welsh food industry will congregate in London next week to discuss how iconic brand names will be protected once the UK leaves the European Union.

Similar to well-known food and drink products from Europe such as Parma Ham and Champagne, some of Wales leading produce has been awarded with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.

These certifications on premium products like PGI Welsh Lamb and Beef play a vital role in promotional activity, particularly in export markets.

To discuss the future of the branding, the Protected Food Name (PFN) Association will meet on Wednesday, 18 January at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) headquarters at Smith Square, Westminster.

PFN will meet with minister George Eustice MP to communicate the need for a system to replace the current EU scheme to protect food brands that can legally be recognised in Europe and beyond.

The PGI designations which Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef currently enjoy are vital to our marketing efforts, said Gwyn Howells, chief executive of Hybu Cig Cymru Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Theyre highly sought-after marks of quality and traceability, and help to secure the premium status of our products and protect them against imitation. This in turn gives higher returns for thousands of farmers and processors in Wales.

I look forward to hearing what the minister has to say about what will happen to these designations after Brexit. Its important that legislation is brought forward to establish an equivalent scheme, and that the PFN Association and the devolved administrations are fully involved in the process.

As well as Welsh Lamb and Beef, Carmarthen Ham and Conwy Mussels are among the names from Wales that are registered under the EU scheme.

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