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 (eg 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

Details of the stages involved in the application process can be found in the EU food name scheme application process flow chart (PDF, 67.3KB, 1 page) .

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.

Opposition procedure

Products and current applications

Product applications currently undergoing initial assessment

Product PDO / PGI / TSG Contact Category
Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil PDO DARDNI Oils and fats
Cambrian Lamb PDO ADAS Fresh Meat
Colchester Oysters PGI Defra Fresh Fish, Molluscs and Crustaceans
Denbigh Plum PGI ADAS Fruit, vegetables and cereals fresh or processed
Dundee Cake PGI Scottish Government Bread, pastry, cakes, confectionery, biscuits and other baker’s wares
Evesham Asparagus PDO Defra Fruit, vegetables and cereals fresh or processed
Forfar Bridies PGI Defra Meat products
Jersey Black Butter PGI Defra Fruit, vegetables and cereals fresh or processed
Jersey Island Butter PGI Defra Milk and dairy
Jersey Milk TSG Defra Milk and dairy
Welsh Butter PGI ADAS Dairy products
Welsh Caerphilly PDO ADAS Cheese

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.

Products currently subject to the national objection procedure are

Product PDO / PGI / TSG Posted Contact Deadline for comments and oppositions
Cornish Butter PDO 26 January 2009 Defra 20 April 2009
Conwy Mussels and consultation letter PGI 28 November 2012 Defra 21 February 2013
Welsh cider and consultation letter PGI 17 December 2012 Defra 12 March 2013
Welsh Perry and consultation letter PGI 17 December 2012 Defra 12 March 2013
Stilton Cheese (amendment) - Stichelton Dairy, consultation letter and current product specification PDO 1 May 2013 Defra Indication that comments/objections will be made are due 29 May 2013 Details of comments/objections are due 31 July 2013
Stilton Cheese (amendment) – The Original Cheese Company, consultation letter and current product specification PDO 1 May 2013 Defra Defra has received several statements of opposition. In consideration of these the application to amend has been rejected - final decision letter
Carmarthen Ham and consultation letter PGI 24 June 2013 ADAS Indication that comments/objections will be made are due 22 July 2013. Details of comments/objections are due 16 September 2013
Selsey Lobster and consultation letter PDO 29 July 2013 Defra Indication that comments/objections will be made are due 26 August 2013. Details of comments/objections are due 21 October 2013
London Cure Smoked Scottish Salmon and consultation letter PGI 21 August 2013 Defra Indication that comments/objections will be made are due 18 September 2013. Details of comments/objections are due 13 November 2013.
Cornish Clotted Cream (amendment) and consultation letter and current product specification (follow and choose option under ‘Other documents’) PDO 16 December 2013 Defra Indication that comments/objections will be made are due 13 January 2014. Details of comments/objections are due 10 March 2014.

Notification of submissions to the European Commission

Product PDO / PGI / TSG Posted
Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling TSG 6 December 2008
Watercress TSG 6 December 2010
Traditional Farmfresh Turkey (amendments) TSG 9 December 2010
Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop PGI 30 August 2011
Darnibole wine, Letter to commission, Specification, Supporting evidence, Map PDO 30 October 2012
Welsh Beef (amendment) PGI 29 July 2013
Birmingham Balti TSG 23 October 2013
West Wales Coracle Caught Salmon PGI 11 November 2013
West Wales Coracle Caught Sewin PGI 11 November 2013
Welsh Laverbread PDO 17 December 2013

Product publications which have cleared European Commission examination

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.

Product PDO / PGI / TSG Official Journal (OJ) Reference number and date of publication
There are currently no products under consideration.    

Contacts

Responsibilities for handling applications

England

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

Telephone: 020 7238 3386
Email: Ilana.kosky@defra.gsi.gov.uk protectedfoodnames@defra.gsi.gov.uk Website: www.gov.uk/protected-food-names-guidance-for-producers

Scotland

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

Tel: 0300 244 9292
Fax: 0300 244 9690/9990
Email: david.laing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.scotland.gov.uk/food

Wales

Wendy Jones
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 5139 Symudol/Mobile: 07769883269 E bost/Email:wendy.jones@cymru.gsi.gov.uk/wendy.jones@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Northern Ireland

Paul Moore
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland
Room 132
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SB

Telephone: 028 9052 5132
Fax: 028 9052 4574
Email: Paul.Moore@dardni.gov.uk

Defra

Food, Drinks and Agricultural Products

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

Telephone: 020 7238 1179/3386 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

Ken Meger
Cereals and Wine Team
Area 8C, 9 Millbank
C/o Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Telephone: 020 7238 1209
Fax: 020 7238 5063
Email: ken.meger@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.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.