Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is a status awarded by the European Commission that protects and promotes named regional food products that have a reputation or noted characteristics specific to that area.
The PGI framework was launched by the EU in 1993 offering legal protection to recognised products against imitation across the EU. It acts in the same way as a Trade Mark, preventing manufacturers from outside a region imitating a regional product.
The EU instigates a comprehensive assessment of a product before awarding the status, investigating its reputation and regional connection. Being awarded the status demonstrates that the product is produced and processed to agreed standards and specifications recognised at EU level, and that the product has a defined regional connection.
The PGI status prevents unfair competition and the misleading of consumers by non-genuine products which may be of inferior quality or different flavour.
PGI status was awarded to Welsh Beef in 2002 and to Welsh Lamb in 2003. There are currently 33 products across the UK that have been awarded PGI Protected status, compared to 134 in France and 117 in Italy.
Objectives of PGI:
• Protect the reputation of the regional food product
• Promote rural and agricultural activity
• Help producers to obtain a premium price for their authentic products in return for a “genuine effort to improve quality”
• Communicate clear messages to consumers about product origin
The PGI status of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef guarantees the authenticity and integrity of the brand. The benefits of the natural landscape are maximised with tried and tested traditional farming techniques to produce lamb and beef to a high standard.
PGI assures consumers that Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef have full traceability, recognising the origin and unique qualities of the product. Only PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef are guaranteed to be sourced from lambs or cattle born and reared in Wales, which are fully traceable, and have been slaughtered and processed in HCC-approved abattoirs or cutting plants. PGI status protects the integrity of the Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands.