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West is best for farming produce

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2013



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Westcountry livestock farmers have won special protected status for their beef and lamb which ranks the meat alongside some of the top food products in Europe.

After a five-month campaign, West Country Beef and West Country Lamb is to be granted Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Commission in recognition of its special qualities.

Meat from animals born and reared in the six counties of the South West, from Cornwall to Wiltshire, and fed on a mostly natural foraged diet will qualify for the special labelling, once a marketing campaign is launched in the new year, bringing a sales boost.

Cornish beef farmer Jeff Thomas, who breeds Devon Ruby Red cattle at St Just, near Penzance, said the new status would be a big boost to all Westcountry livestock farmers.

He said: "People come on holiday to the Westcountry because it's a beautiful part of the country and if they can buy beef and lamb that they know has come from here they are getting some of those same benefits. Westcountry beef and lamb, particularly from native breeds like the Ruby Red, do have special qualities that improve the flavour."

Two years ago the Cornish Pasty joined the PGI list, which includes Italian Parma ham and Roquefort cheese.

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