New rules and logos to protect British food and drink

Economy & Politics | Food & Drink | Legal | National

New rules and logos to protect British food and drink, guaranteeing the authenticity of regional and traditional foods for shoppers and protecting British producers from imitation, have been set out today.

At the end of the Transition Period, the new and independent Geographical Indications (GI) schemes will make sure that popular and traditional produce from across the country will be granted special status to mark out their authenticity and origin, for example Scotch whisky and Welsh lamb.

This means that shoppers will be able to buy their favourite food and drink with confidence, and producers whose foods are granted GI status will benefit from intellectual property protection so that others cannot imitate them. GIs are highly valued by producers and are exemplars of the wide range of quality British products enjoyed around the world. They represent around a quarter of UK food and drink exports by value, approaching £6bn in export value in 2019.

GIs are only awarded to highlight regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The new logos representing the unique and protected nature of these products to consumers have been unveiled today, which can be displayed on all British produce which is given GI status.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The new UK protected food name scheme will replace the old EU one and will ensure that we continue to recognise and celebrate protected food names and local recipes across our country. The new logos launched today will become a staple on supermarket aisles in the UK and mean shoppers will be able to pick the best of British, from Scotch whisky and Welsh lamb to Cornish clotted cream.”

There are three UK GI logos, which were developed in conjunction with GI producers, Devolved Administrations and consumers, which mark each designation of geographical indication:

  • Protected designation of origin (PDO)
  • Protected geographical indication (PGI)
  • Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)

The UK GI schemes will replace the EU’s schemes on 1 January 2021 as the Transition Period ends. Legislation laid in Parliament today will:

  • Provide the legal framework in England, Scotland and Wales to administer and enforce the GI schemes
  • Ensure continued protection of existing UK-origin GIs and non-UK GIs agreed through trade agreements
  • Establish the new UK logo in law and ensure EU GI logos are no longer required on GB products
  • Simplify the application process.

Registered producers of British food, drink and agricultural GI products that are required to use the logos will have until 1 January 2024 to change packaging to display the new UK GI logos. This timeframe will enable producers, who have been consulted extensively on the scheme, to introduce the logos to their products in good time.

Industry reaction

Nicholas Rodda, Managing Director, Rodda’s Creamery said: “The UK is celebrated for producing some of the very best food and drink in the world. The new GI status will not only strengthen the authenticity of our Cornish clotted cream on a global stage, but also provide new opportunities for our business conversations internationally.

“We were delighted to be involved in the development of the GI logos, ensuring the prestigious nature of the PDO is represented within the new designs. The new GI status will ensure consumers can continue to enjoy Cornish clotted cream with knowledge that it has been made in Cornwall, with Cornish milk and crafted using traditional methods.”

Anglesey Sea Salt Halen Mon PDO, welcomes the continued protection of its name and special characteristics: “In a world of cheap imitations and pressures on costs, it’s important for producers and consumers alike to be able to depend on a marque which is a guarantee of authenticity and quality.”

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