Keep protected geographical status for UK growers post-Brexit, MEP urges

A British law mirroring the EU's protection for unique regional foodstuffs should continue to protect UK specialist producers post-Brexit, West Midlands Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre has said.

Image: Cameron Smith / European Conservatives and Reformists
Image: Cameron Smith / European Conservatives and Reformists

Accompanying a delegation to Brussels from Vale of Evesham asparagus, which won Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status earlier this year after a lengthy campaign, McIntyre said adopting the EU system into UK law would protect specialist growers and processors from inferior copies.

"The PGI system is valued by consumers as much as producers," she said. "Shoppers know they are buying the real thing, while producers know that inferior products cannot be passed off as theirs.

"This is one of the very positive things that has come out of the EU and is too good to be lost as we leave."

Accompanied by mascots, the delegation delivered a bundle of freshly-cut asparagus to the European Parliament, having set off by minibus from the Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcestershire - a focal point of the annual British Asparagus Festival, which runs until 21 June.

Four other UK fresh produce items - Armagh Bramley apples, Fenland celery, early Comber and Pembrokeshire potatoes - have PGI status, while Jersey Royal potatoes and Yorkshire forced rhubarb have the stricter PDO (protected designation of origin) status.


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