Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) chief executive Gwyn Howells has welcomed progress in talks in Westminster aimed at securing the food name protection currently enjoyed by Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef and other premium brands, following Brexit.
Members of the UK Protected Food Name (PFN) Association met Agriculture Minister George Eustice at Defra headquarters in London this week to discuss what would happen to foods currently protected by EU law.
Food and drink industry executives from as far afield as Cornwall, Kent, Jersey, Shetland and Anglesey, representing industries worth hundreds of millions of pounds in exports, were unanimous in wishing to see an equivalent scheme passed into UK law, to guarantee the brands’ protection after Brexit.
“The PGI status enjoyed by Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef place our products in the same category as premium goods such as Champagne,” said HCC’s Gwyn Howells. “As well as protecting our meat against imitation and giving customers confidence in its authenticity and traceability, the PGI status has been a cornerstone of marketing efforts which have seen lamb exports rise from £57 million in 2004 to £133 million in the space of a decade.”
Mr Howells added, “I was pleased to hear the Minister confirm that the Government would work to introduce an equivalent scheme in UK law which would allow Welsh Beef, Welsh Lamb and other protected foods to retain their status in the same way as other non-EU goods such as Colombian Coffee.
“A seamless transition is what's needed, to ensure continuity in marketing efforts in Britain, Europe and beyond. I look forward to Defra continuing to work on the replacement scheme, along with the PFN Association and the Devolved Governments.”