The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is encouraging Northern Ireland stakeholders to respond to a UK-wide consultation on a new UK Geographical Indications scheme. The intent is for this to be in place after Britain has left the European Union.
Under the current EU protected food names (PFN) scheme, certain products with a Geographical Indication (GI) are given legal protection against imitation. The UK Government and the devolved administrations recognise the economic and cultural importance of GIs, which are also important to the strength of our global reputation for quality food.
Northern Ireland currently has three products with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status: Comber New Potatoes, Armagh Bramley Apples and Lough Neagh Eels. It also has one Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) - Lough Neagh Pollan.
According to farminglife.com, all of the existing GIs will automatically be protected in the proposed new UK GI scheme. In addition, the UK Government has indicated that it will seek to ensure that all UK GIs registered under the EU schemes will continue to enjoy protections in the EU, but this is subject to ongoing negotiations.