Post-Brexit food name protection in the spotlight

The growing number of Welsh foods with European Union Protected Food Name (PFN) status will be showcased at the Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) stand at the Royal Welsh Show this week while on the same day a key meeting will be held in Melton Mowbray aimed at securing the future of the food designations after Brexit.

Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef have enjoyed PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) designations since 2003 and 2002 respectively, helping the meats to achieve premium status and giving consumers confidence in their quality and traceability from farm to fork.

During the first half of 2017 six new Welsh products were awarded protection under the coveted scheme which covers premium foods such as Champagne and Parma Ham. These include TSG Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork and PDO Welsh Laverbread, bringing Wales’ overall tally of protected products to 14.

At the HCC stand on the showground on Wednesday 26 July, actor Julian Lewis Jones will introduce the PFN producers and share the stories behind the products. Visitors to the show will see the champion Junior Chef of Wales, Steffan Davies, creating some tasty dishes during a dedicated PFN cookery demonstration.

While the demonstration is continuing the UK PFN Association, which represents industries as diverse as Cornish Pasties and Scottish Salmon as well as Welsh Beef and Welsh Lamb, will meet with Defra officials at Melton Mowbray – home of the famed pies – to discuss securing the future of food brands after the UK leaves the European Union.

“The PGI status enjoyed by Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef and increasing numbers of other top-quality Welsh foods place our products in the same category as premium goods such as Champagne,” said Owen Roberts, who will be representing HCC in Melton Mowbray. “As well as protecting our meat against imitation and giving consumers confidence in its traceability, PGI status has been a cornerstone of marketing efforts which saw lamb exports rise from £57 million to £133 million in the space of a decade.

“It’s possible, if action is taken to place equivalent regulations in UK law, for non-EU products to retain this designation,” he added. “Our last meeting with Defra explored the options for a seamless transition, to ensure continuity in marketing efforts in Britain, Europe and beyond. HCC is ready to work with the PFN Association and the Devolved Governments to help Defra ensure the continuation of this vital brand protection after Brexit.”