Food ID claims ‘untrue’ says Defra

Defra has called reports saying how the UK could lose geographical indication protection post-Brexit as “completely untrue”.

There has been coverage in the national media about the fate of protected geographical indications (PGIs) – schemes that legally protect the names of regional speciality foods – should the UK leave the EU with ‘no deal’.

Food producers in the EU can currently protect the names of their products under PGI regulations put in place by the EU.

From Gloucester Old Spot to Scotch whisky, there are currently over 80 PGIs in the UK.

Despite concerns that the UK will lose PGI protection, Defra said that all UK PGIs, and their unique heritage, will be protected in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

However, no decisions have yet been made on how a UK system would work.

A Defra spokesperson said: “It is completely untrue to say GI protections will be lost when we leave the EU.

“We’ve already set out how our schemes will work here and been clear existing UK products registered under EU GI schemes, from Scotch whisky to Stornoway black pudding, will automatically get UK GI status.

“GIs are very important to the UK, both culturally and economically and by safeguarding GI status we will ensure that these brands, and the areas they evoke and represent, will maintain their global appeal.”

Defra said it will establish specific GI schemes to protect UK product in the future.