Parish welcomes PGI news for West Country beef and lamb

Mid Devon Star: Parish welcomes PGI news for West Country beef and lamb Parish welcomes PGI news for West Country beef and lamb

NEIL Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, has welcomed the news that a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for beef and lamb from the West Country is set to be in place during 2014.

Following a five month European Commission EU-wide consultation process, no opposition to the plans were received.

The Commission is no preparing to register the names West Country Beef and West Country Lamb.

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.

To qualify, criteria fulfilled will include beef and lamb coming from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire and fed at least a 70 per cent forage-based diet.

Neil Parish, who is a former farmer and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Beef and Lamb said: “The West Country produces some of the world's best grass fed beef and lamb and I am delighted that it is to be at last recognised with a West Country PGI banner.

"The farming heritage and welfare standards of beef and lamb production in the South West make the label “West Country” a mark of quality and a real selling point.”

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.”

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