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Beef and lamb from Westcountry to get special PGI status in 2014

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2013

By Philip Bowern, WMN Countryside Editor, Twitter: @wmorningnewsman

Exmoor beef – from next year Westcountry Beef and Westcountry Lamb will have Protected Geographic Indicator status

Exmoor beef – from next year Westcountry Beef and Westcountry Lamb will have Protected Geographic Indicator status

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Beef and lamb from the Westcountry can be sold under its own label from next year following the success of a campaign to win Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for the meat.

During a five-month European Commission EU-wide consultation process, no opposition to the plans were received. The Commission will now prepare to register the names West Country Beef and West Country Lamb, after which active marketing can begin to take place. It will join Welsh Lamb and Scotch Beef, among a long list of British and European foods that already enjoy the status.

Beef and lamb from the region, that meet specific criteria, will be eligible to carry the PGI logo and will be badged as "West Country" and promoted on the basis of their rearing environment. The meat will have to come from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire and have been fed at least a 70 per cent forage-based diet.

Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West (MSW), the organisation behind the PGI application, said: "This is a key milestone and very positive outcome, following a long process to obtain a PGI for West Country beef and lamb. We are delighted with the latest step in the process and look forward to marketing beef and lamb under the West Country PGI banner in the new year."

Nick Allen, sector director for EBLEX, said: "EBLEX has put a lot of time and expertise into supporting this PGI application so we are delighted by this news. It's now up to the processors and the meat trade to embrace the West Country PGI to fulfil its marketing potential."

MSW is a strategic advisory body, which liaises with the industry and government on the priorities and needs of a profitable and productive regional meat and livestock sector. The board represents the whole supply chain, from farm to fork, and is committed to the success of the sector.

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5 comments

  • twigcat  |  December 05 2013, 1:45AM

    Excellent. Much easier for me to know what NOT to buy.

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  • Clued-Up  |  December 04 2013, 8:24PM

    All that hard work put into achieving PGI status and many customers won't be interested because they loathe the NFU Council's badger cull ... Customers have done the research that's necessary to find suppliers of milk and meat who're not participating in the badger cull. Currently the Co-Op, Waitrose and Yeo Valley are safe suppliers because they don't source from the badger cull areas; Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda are not. For customers prepared to look more closely at labels, Welsh and Scottish meat is safe as is produce from New Zealand. The badger groups have a listing scheme (tied to a kitemark?) for suppliers of "badger friendly" milk, meat, other products and services; that might be an option for individual farmers who don't support the cull. A number of customers now are thinking hard about whether they should cut down on the amount of milk, dairy products and meat they buy. Some have gone the whole hog (if you'll forgive the bad pun) and decided to try a vegetarian or vegan diet.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  December 04 2013, 1:13PM

    A missed opportunity that Cornwall has not got its own meat brands as it is a well established market leader.Where is the "Westcountry"?" Tells me nothing about the source of the meat.

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  • simonrtucker  |  December 04 2013, 10:29AM

    A good point and fair comment

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  • Pink_Diesel  |  December 04 2013, 9:47AM

    With a badger cull going on in the Wescountry, right now may not be the best of times to pubicise West Country Beef - and put a label on it. There will be calls for a boycott, and in the chiller, next to the West Country Beef will be badger-friendly Welsh beef, also with a label. Boycotts only work if there is a clear easy alternative, and Welsh beef will be the clear easy alternative. The decission can be made in a second, and the housewife (excuse) will go away with a warm feeling for having done the right thing.

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