Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Christmas market celebrates best of British
Some of Britain’s tastiest treats were on offer this week as Defra held a Christmas market to celebrate the best regional and speciality food this country has to offer, and also highlight the benefits to food producers of applying for the EU’s Protected Food Name status.
Defra ministers gathered with the producers and industry stakeholders to sample some of the best of regional and speciality foods – from Cornish pasties to Herefordshire Perry Cider – with a festive accompaniment from Defra’s choir.
At the event, held at New Covent Garden Market, sardines were also on the menu –the Cornish Sardine was announced as the latest food to be protected under the EU Protected Food Name scheme. The product was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status because of the way sardines are caught and the historical link attached to the fishing of sardines in Cornish waters. It joins the likes of Stilton Cheese and Scotch Beef and Lamb to become the UK’s 40th protected food name.
There was good news on British pig meat too – the Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force, which was set up by Defra so that producers, retailers, and the supply chain could address issues of concern for the industry, has agreed to draw up a new code of practice for labelling pork and pork products. This will bring an end to ambiguous terms like ‘produced in the UK’, while pork labelled ‘British’ will mean that the animal was born, reared, and slaughtered in Britain.
Food and Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: ‘This agreement is great for consumers and the whole supply chain. It means that if you buy bacon or sausages from a retailer who’s signed up to the code then you’ll know exactly where the meat has come from.’