Guidance

Protected food names: guidance for producers

How to register a food or drink product under the EU Protected Food Name scheme; current applications and scheme contacts.

Overview

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.

The EU Protected Food Name scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The product is awarded one of three marks: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO); Protected Geographical Indication (PGI); and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).

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 of consumers’ increasing awareness of the importance of regional and speciality foods.

The marks of the scheme

  • Protected Designation of Origin: 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
  • Protected Geographical Indication: 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
  • Traditional Speciality Guaranteed: 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.

The logos of the scheme are available at the bottom of this guide.

We’ve produced a simple visual guide to the Protected Food Name Scheme.

How to apply

Applications for each of the 3 designations can be put forward by groups of producers. Such groups may include other interested parties such as butchers in the case of applications for meat or milk producers in the case of applications for cheese.

Individuals can also put forward applications for either of the two geographical designations, ie PDO or PGI if:

  • local and traditional methods and practices are used; and
  • the geographical area has characteristics which differ from neighbouring areas
  • the product has characteristics which are different from those of similar products

Products covered by the scheme

Most foods intended for human consumption can apply for registration including meat, dairy and fish products, honey, fruits and vegetables, been, beverages made from plant extracts, bread, pasta, pastries, cakes, biscuits and confectionery.

Examples of other products which can also be registered under particular designations are as follows:

  • PDO and PGI – natural gums and resins, hay, essential oils, mustard paste, cork, cochineal, flowers and ornamental plants, wool, wicker, scutched flax, cotton and salt
  • TSG – pre-cooked meals, prepared condiment sauces, soups and broths, ice cream and sorbets, chocolate (and other food preparations including cocoa)

Stages in the application process

Key stages are:

  • the application dossier is developed by the applicant group and assessed by Defra
  • the application is subject to national opposition procedure
  • once any issues arising from the opposition procedure are resolved, the application is submitted to the European Commission where it is subject to a European Commission scrutiny
  • publication in the EU Official Journal which commences EU wide opposition procedure
  • if no opposition is received, the product is registered as a protected food name

Applying for Protection Under the PFN Scheme

For the opportunity to use one of these logos on your food/drink product, please contact the relevant authority.

Products with current initial applications

Product applications currently undergoing initial assessment

Application for PDO status

  • Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil: the application is currently being developed by DARDNI and the applicant
  • Devon cider: the application is currently being developed by Defra and the applicant
  • Tenby daffodils: the application is currently being developed by ADAS and the applicant

Application for PGI status

  • Denbigh Plum: the application is currently being developed by ADAS and the applicant
  • Orkney Bere Meal: the application is currently being developed by the Scottish Government and the applicant
  • Heritage English Cider: the application is currently being developed by Defra and the applicant

Product applications currently subject to the initial national opposition procedure

Once an application has been completed and submitted to the relevant department, it is necessary to consult interested parties within the UK providing them with an opportunity to comment on or to oppose the application.

Interested parties should make known an intention to comment/oppose within 4 weeks of the consultation. If the comment/opposition is found to be admissible, interested parties will then have a further 8 weeks to send complete details of their comment/opposition.

Currently, there are not any products under national consultation.

Applications for new registration of products which have recently completed the national consultation stage

Dundee cake

This application is for a new PGI status and is in the final stages of review.

Vale of Evesham asparagus

This application is for a new PGI status and is in the final stages of review.

Traditional Welsh Caerphilly / Traditional Welsh Caerffili

This application is for a new PDO status and is the final stages of review.

Traditional reared pedigree Welsh Pork

This application is for a new TSG status and is the final stages of review

Recent applications for amendments to existing registrations

Stilton cheese

Defra is discussing the comments and objections with the interested parties and the applicant.

Cornish clotted cream

Defra is discussing the comments and objections with the interested parties and the applicant.

Applications under scrutiny by the European Commission

After national consultation is completed, applications are sent to the European Commission for scrutiny. This provides an opportunity for discussion between the European Commission and the producer group.

Conwy mussels

This application is for a new PGI status. It was submitted to the European Commission on 22 January 2015.

Cornish sardines

This application is to amend the product registration. It was submitted to the European Commission on 22 January 2015.

Traditional bramley apple pie filling

This application is for a new TSG. It submitted to the European Commission for review on 6 December 2008.

Watercress

This application is for a new TSG status. It was submitted to the European commission for review on 6 December 2010.

Birmingham balti

This application is for a TSG status. It was submitted to the European Commission for review on 23 October 2013.

West Wales coracle caught salmon

This application is for a PGI status. It was submitted to the European Commission for review on 11 November 2013.

West Wales coracle caught sewin

This application is for a PGI status. It was submitted to the European Commission for review on 11 November 2013.

Welsh laverbread

This application is for a PDO status. It was submitted to the European Commission for review on 17 December 2013.

Carmarthen ham

This application is for a PGI status. It was submitted to the European Commission for review on 19 May 2014.

Welsh cider

This application is for a PDO status which was submitted to the European commission for review in July 2014.

Welsh perry

This application is for a PDO status which was submitted to the European commission for review in July 2014.

Darnibole wine

This application is for a PDO status which was submitted to the European Commission for review on 20 October 2012.

London cure smoked scottish salmon

This application is for a PGI status which was submitted to the European Commission for review on 18 December 2014.

Applications for amendments to existing registrations under consideration by the European Commission

Traditional farmfresh turkey

This application is for an amendment to the product specification. It was sent to the European Commission for scrutiny on 9 December 2010.

Welsh beef

This application is for an amendment to the product specification. It was sent to the European Commission for scrutiny on 29 July 2013.

Cornish pasty

This application is for an amendment to the product specification. It was sent to the European Commission for scrutiny in August 2014.

Products which have cleared European Commission scrutiny

If the Commission is satisfied that an application meets the criteria for registration then details are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities to enable interested parties from outside the UK to comment on or object to that application. A period of six months is allowed for this process.

Traditional Ayreshire Dunlop

The application has proceeded to open consultation. It was published in the official European journal on 21 November 2014 with reference number UK/PGI/0005/00889.

Contacts

Responsibilities for handling applications

England

Funda Lancaster
Defra
Food Composition and Standards Team
Area 3A
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Telephone: 020 7238 6075 Email: funda.lancaster@defra.gsi.gov.uk or protectedfoodnames@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Scotland

Claudine Duff
Scottish Government
Food, Drink & Rural Communities Division
B1 Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh EH11 3XD

Tel: 0131 24 49572 Email: claudine.duff@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.scotland.gov.uk/food

Wales

Andrew Martin
Gweithredydd Y Sector/Sector Executive
Is-Adran Fwyd/Food Division
Llywodraeth Cymru/Welsh Government
Sarn Mynach/Sarn Mynach
Cyffordd Llandudno/Llandudno Junction

Ffôn/Tel: 0300 062 5537 E bost/Email:andrew.martin@cymru.gsi.gov.uk/andrew.martin@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Northern Ireland

Paddy Thompson
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland
Room 131
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SB

Telephone: 028 90 524518 Email: paddy.thompson@dardni.gsi.gov.uk

Defra

Food, Drinks and Agricultural Products

Food, Drinks and Agricultural Products
Food Composition and Standards Team
Area 3A, Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Telephone: 020 7238 6075/1179 Email: protectedfoodnames@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Spirits

Michael Talbot
Food Composition and Standards Team
Area 3A, Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Telephone: 020 7238 4375
Email: michael.talbot@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Wines

Philip Munday
Cereals and Wine Team
Area 1E Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Telephone: 020 7238 3190
Email: philip.munday@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Further information and latest news

The logos of the scheme

Protected food marks

The logos can be downloaded from the European Commission website.