West Country beef and lamb and Anglesey sea salt have joined the ranks of Melton Mowbray pies and Stilton cheese and achieved protected status from the EU.

The foods have been awarded the European Union’s protected food name status, which protects their authenticity and origin from imitation and fraud.

In the UK, 62 items have now gained this prestigious status, including some of Britain’s best-loved foods such as Welsh lamb, Cornish clotted cream and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.

(More on protected status for Lincolnshire sausages )

Protected food status helps safeguard these iconic products and contributes an estimated £900m boost to the European economy.

DEFRA is working with food producers to encourage further applications of iconic UK foods for protected food name status.

Farm minister George Eustice said: ““Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally.

“We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognised.”
The award of the coveted protected geographical indication status (PGI) to West Country beef and lamb means meat carrying the label must come from livestock born, reared and finished in a county located in south-west England, such as Devon or Cornwall. Stock must also be fed a diet that is at least 70% grass- and forage-based.

Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West, said: “We are delighted to be awarded PGI status for West Country beef and lamb. We look forward to working with farmers and processors in the south-west region to market top-quality beef and lamb under the West Country PGI banner.”