PFN are of great importance to cider makers as well as cheese, pork pie, clotted cream makers etc. Protected Geographical Indication for Hereford Cider and Hereford Perry have been in place for many years and is enforced and audited by Trading Standards under the administration of DEFRA but based on European legislation.
It covers 2 main areas as regards Gloucestershire, Herefordshire or Worcestershire cider and perry.
- PGI provides an assurance of the place/terroir and quality of the cider/perry.
- PGI stops any fraudulent/imitation ciders being marketed as , for instance, Hereford Cider which for example without PGI, a Herefordshire cider could be made, labelled and sold made from imported concentrate with a 35% apple content that might be Chinese grown dessert apple.
Below is how the PFN Association read the situation.
“Following the Referendum decision to leave the EU one might be very concerned as to what happens to Protected Food Name status for UK products registered under the EU scheme.
A country does not have to be a member of the EU to have its products protected within the EU. Colombia is an example where though clearly not a member of the EU, its coffee Colombian Coffee has PFN status within the EU. This arrangement must be reciprocal though.
It is our understanding that PFN products having been approved by the EU will continue to have protection within the reduced EU.
However if EU law in future no longer applies to the UK, PFN would lose their protection within the UK, something the UK Government could remedy by passing similar legislation in the UK.
As one understands it, the treaties that regulate the UK’s membership of the EU give a timescale of around two years for formal exit of the EU and so it is likely protection would continue till at least then giving our Government time to introduce PFN legislation.
At the EU’s insistence, Defra were already drafting a Statutory Instrument for the enforcement and monitoring of PFN’s in the UK which should have been ready sometime this year. It is possible that with amendment this could be the vehicle to have legislation to protect PFN’s within the UK.
Our advice is for PFN members to lobby their MP with their concerns and to request that the question of maintaining PFN protection for our products be a priority for the Government in the months to come.
The PFN Association have written to Defra asking for their clarification as well”.
Concern will be, that given the monumental tasks facing the yet to be found prime minister and government and the whole agricultural subsidy situation being up in the air that Protected Food Names will not be a priority. It is therefore incumbent on those who value this designation to lobby their MP and DEFRA.