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 unveiled.
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 will allow shoppers to buy their favourite food and drink with quality assurance, 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.
The UK GI schemes will replace the EU’s schemes on 1 January 2021 as the Transition Period ends.
The legislation laid in Parliament 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; and simplify the application process.
“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,” said environment secretary George Eustace.
“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.”
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. Guidance is available on GOV.UK including for the simplified process on new UK GI application.