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EU Protected Food Names Scheme


In 1993 EU legislation came into force which provides for a system for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis. This system is similar to the familiar 'appellation controllée'' system used for wine. The scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. Under this system a named food or drink registered at a European level will be given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.

Producers who register their products for protection benefit from having a raised awareness of their product throughout Europe. This may in turn help them take advantage consumers' increasing awareness of the importance of regional and speciality foods. The designations are:

Protected Designation of Origin

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

Open to products which are produced, processed and prepared within a particular geographical area, and with features and characteristics which must be due to the geographical area.

<b>Protected Geographical Indication</b>

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

Open to products which must be produced or processed or prepared within the geographical area and have a reputation, features or certain qualities attributable to that area.

<b>Traditional Speciality Guaranteed</b>

Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG)

Open to products which are traditional or have customary names and have a set of features which distinguish them from other similar products. These features must not be due to the geographical area the product is produced in nor entirely based on technical advances in the method of production.

Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food

The Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food's report has highlighted the growing enthusiasm among consumers for high quality food with a clear regional identity. Consumers increasingly want to know how food is produced and are keen for their purchases of products to bring benefits to the area and people from where the product originates. The report also noted that one of the greatest opportunities for producers to add value and retain a bigger slice of retail price was to build on this enthusiasm. In light of this, the report recommended that the industry do more to ensure that producers take part in the protected food names schemes.

For a number of years now we have been actively seeking to raise awareness about the scheme and encourage more UK applications. The scheme provides a means for farmers to add value to their produce and market it in a more imaginative way, particularly given consumers' growing interest in food with a clear regional provenance. Promotion of the scheme forms part of our wider strategy of support for the quality regional food sector.

We fully endorse this recommendation and have written to Trade Associations and individual and small groups of producers to promote the scheme and its benefits.


Responsibilities for handling applications

From 1 April 2006 the responsibilities for handling of applications made under the EU protected food name scheme within England transferred from Defra to Food From Britain.


Further Information

  • EU Promotions - News release on funds available for the promotion of certain agricultural products on the internal market


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Page last modified: 23 August 2007

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs