The new GI scheme will be launched on the 1 January 2021. Products from the UK that are currently certified with GI status in Europe will automatically be legally protected under the new scheme and will continue to receive protection in Europe under the current EU scheme. The new logos for the GI scheme can be found to download here alongside the current supporting information.
The UK scheme will be managed by Defra who will be responsible for maintaining registered Protected Food Names (PFN) and process new applications for GI. Geographical Indicators are given to products identified to have quality, reputation or other characteristics that are linked to the geographical location that they have been produced in or the method that has been used to produce them. There are many examples of UK products that have GI status, such as Cornish pasties, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and Gloucester Old Spots pork.
From its launch on 1 January 2021, if you are a producer of an existing agri-food GI, which is produced in England, Wales and Scotland you will have three years until 1 January 2024 to fully implement the UK logo on all forms of packaging and all marketing material.
UK GI products that are registered before the end of the transition period will still receive protection within the EU and can continue to use the EU logo, providing the product name continues to remain on the EU GI register and doesn’t cause conflict with any local regulations.
From the 1 January 2021 any applications for new products wanting to gain GI status, if they are from the UK, must apply through the UK scheme if they want to protect their product name in Great Britain. However, to protect a new product name in Northern Ireland and the EU, producers and retailers must also apply to the EU scheme.
NFU spokesperson said: "It is great to see that under the new UK geographical indicators scheme, iconic British products such as Stilton, Farmhouse West Country Cheddar and Welsh Lamb and Beef, will continue to be protected after we leave the EU.
"The safeguards on some of our most iconic products through GIs recognise the quality of the food we produce here in the UK. We hope this will further grow the fantastic British brand in overseas markets where shoppers can enjoy authentic British products with confidence."
More detailed guidance on the UK GI schemes will be published at the end of the transition period by Defra. In the meanwhile, the latest information can be found here.
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