Protected food names are under threat

5 September 2017 - 10:06am -- Gerry Danby


In the UK, food products bearing a 'protected food name' are on average sold at a significant premium to the price of otherwise comparable food. Protecting the authenticity and value of traditional foods is crucial if we are to sell the UK as a source of delicious and high-quality food, rooted in good food stories, traditional skills and history. Yet descriptions that protect both value and values are at risk from changes to our food rules consequent on the EU Withdrawal (Repeal) Bill and new international trade deals.

The EU first introduced arrangements for the protection of traditional foods back in 1992 and there are now 1,393 foods registered – including Scotland’s Arbroath Smokies to Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. While Italy, France and Spain were quick to take advantage of the new scheme, the UK was slow to recognise the value of the geographical indications – protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI) - and the traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) which are the designations set out in the food quality Regulation (EU) 1151/2012.

More recently, a change of approach has been very much in evidence. In late 2014 then Defra Secretary Liz Truss made a big push to encourage more applications for registration and 23 foods have since secured registration or have applications pending. More than a half of the UK’s 79 protected food name products were registered in the last 10 years.

Since the referendum last June there have been eight new hopeful applications made and six new food products registered, in recent weeks West Wales coracle caught salmon and sewin (Welsh sea trout) and London Cure Smoked Salmon gained PGI status. The process for securing protection is long and arduous so if we’re leaving the EU, some might ask, what’s the point?

Protecting the authenticity of traditional foods remains a driving force underlying the scheme. Consumers are provided with an assurance they are purchasing a genuine food product and the scheme helps reconnect people with the source of their food. Farmers and producers are assisted in establishing a strong brand and gain protection from imitation throughout the EU.

Protected food name status is a form of intellectual property right and registered foods attract a substantial premium. The European Commission has estimated that, in the UK, protected food names are on average sold at almost twice the price of a non-protected comparable food. The UK market was worth almost £5 billion in 2010. There is a cost associated with protection which producers must bear, but a significant financial benefit remains.

The Brexit White Paper sets out the Government’s approach to the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ which would enshrine EU regulations, including the food quality Regulation (EU) 1151/2012, into domestic law as it stands at the point of the UK’s exit from the EU. This would not in itself, as the White Paper highlights, be sufficient to work effectively. Foods already registered would continue to be protected, unless the EU took steps to remove them from the register. On the other hand, the registration process is ultimately in the hands of the European Commission, even if the Government were to agree to continuing this arrangement, the Commission is unlikely to recognise new applications from the UK or continue to deal with those in the pipeline under the terms of a UK regulation frozen in time. It may well take the view that this is a matter for a future UK-EU trade deal making the solution a decade or more away.

Provision is made in food quality Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 for producers in non-EU countries to apply for registration. There are already several examples of foods from countries outside the EU, including Norway and Turkey, and direct applications to the Commission may be made by a group of producers.

There have been indications that Defra is working on a scheme, but there is little evidence it has any grasp of what is required. A UK DIY scheme would be fraught with problems. The now widely recognised quality logos are the property of the EU and could not be awarded and consumers are suffering from logo fatigue. A scheme introducing new quality marks would lack credibility and standing, in the very least it would take time, many years, to gain acceptance and probably never would in Europe. The financial cost would be considerable.

Defra clearly see protected food names purely in terms of a marketing opportunity, particularly for food exports and the bigger food corporates have not failed to notice the premium which a protected food name carries. In any future new or amended scheme who is likely to be favoured? The bigger food corporates or the next West Wales coracle fishers? The EU has done much to help preserve food traditions in the UK, let’s not now lose them and the benefits they bring.


This is an edited version of one of a series of Brexit Briefs: Artisan food makers could profit from protected food names - if Defra chooses to champion them published by Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming.


Submitted by Kristi (not verified) on

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
After all I will be subscribing to your feed and
I hope you write again very soon!

Also visit my homepage; <a href="">Buy Gabapentin</a>

Submitted by Indiana (not verified) on

With a view to achieve success with freelancing, its necessary to be self-disciplined,
motivated, and organized. If you happen to elect to take the route of freelancing,
you will need to be able to seek and acquire potential jobs, be very effective in scheduling your
time, and have good math abilities for the aim of
billing and taxes.

Check out my web blog: <a href=""></a>

Submitted by Karolyn (not verified) on

You possibly can play it anytime you want.? Daddy answered.
?Because speaking about how nice God is makes him pleased and its worship.
Play it earlier than you go to sleep tonight and if you get up in the morning and God might be close to you
all day long.

Also visit my web site <a href=""></a>

Submitted by Maryellen (not verified) on

Nicely, I am surprised you all left the very further best one for me.?

Daddy said with a teasing smile. ?It?s that he despatched Jesus to die for us and provides us life
eternally and ever and that because of that we
are going to be a household in heaven for millions of years.
That?s fairly good isnt it?

my web blog: -

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are
just too excellent. I actually like what you've acquired here, really like what
you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you
still take care of to keep it smart. I can't wait to read much more from you.

This is really a tremendous site.

Also visit my web-site -

Submitted by Genie (not verified) on

I've been surfing online more than three hours today, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like
yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the internet will be a lot
more useful than ever before.

Feel free to surf to my blog post; <a href="

Submitted by Rigoberto (not verified) on

First off I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick
question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how
you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure
out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

Here is my site <a href="

Submitted by Elena (not verified) on

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been conducting a little homework
on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him...
lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending
some time to talk about this issue here on your blog.

Feel free to visit my web blog: -

Submitted by Von (not verified) on

Working as a freelance paralegal has factors in its favor, and elements
which can be destructive to some people. If a sense of adventure and
pleasure in your work life is what would suit you one of the best, freelancing might be
a fantastic option for you!

My homepage -

Submitted by Raymond (not verified) on

Undeniably imagine that that you stated. Your favourite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest factor to be mindful of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst other folks think about worries that they plainly
don't realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest
and outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , folks could take a signal.
Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

my blog post ... <a href="

Submitted by Chanel (not verified) on

Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out.
I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
Fantastic blog and excellent design and style.

Also visit my page ... HCG -

Submitted by Tina (not verified) on

Can I just say what a comfort to discover a person that truly
understands what they are discussing over the internet.
You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light
and make it important. A lot more people ought to read this and understand this
side of your story. I can't believe you're
not more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.

Review my page; <a href="


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 11 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.