New rules and GI logos announced to protect British food & drink

New rules and GI logos announced to protect British food & drink

Jersey Royal potatoes have a PDO

New rules and logos to protect British food and drink have been set out, guaranteeing the authenticity of regional and traditional foods for shoppers and protecting British producers from imitation.

At the end of the Transition Period, 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 means that shoppers will be able to buy their favourite food and drink with confidence, 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.

GIs are only awarded to highlight regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The new logos representing the unique and protected nature of these products to consumers have been unveiled, which can be displayed on all British produce which is given GI status.

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “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.

“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.”

There are three UK GI logos, which were developed in conjunction with GI producers, Devolved Administrations and consumers, which mark each designation of geographical indication:  

  • Protected designation of origin (PDO)
  • Protected geographical indication (PGI)
  • Traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)

New rules and GI logos announced to protect British food & drink

The UK GI schemes will replace the EU’s schemes on 1 January 2021 as the Transition Period ends. 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
  • Simplify the application process

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. 

All UK products currently protected under the EU’s GI schemes will continue to be protected in the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period.

The UK Government is also currently working to expand and increase the number of GI protections through Free Trade Agreements. The recently announced UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will offer new protection for more iconic UK goods – increasing GIs from just seven under the terms of the EU-Japan deal to potentially over 70 under this new agreement, which would lead to improved recognition of key UK brands in the Japanese market. 

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