12 August 2021TrademarksAlex Baldwin

UK grants first independent GI to Welsh salt marsh lamb

Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has become the first food to receive the UK’s own geographical indication (GI) protection.

GI’s allow food and drink producers to protect their products from IP infringement, as well as guarantee the authenticity of the traditional food’s origin.

Prior to 2021, the UK relied on the European Union’s (EU) GI scheme for food designation protection but launched its own independent GI scheme on 1 January 2021, at the tail-end of the UK’s transition out of the EU.

On Wednesday, 10 August, the UK Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs registered Welsh Gower Salt Marsh Lamb as the first-ever independent UK GI, following the end of the transition period.

Gower Salt March Lamb is produced from lambs born and reared on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. The salt marshes offer a unique environment to the 3,500 lambs that graze there per year.

Now, verified producers of the food can feature a “UK Protected Designated Origin” sticker on lamb meat from the Gower Peninsula.

UK food minister Victoria Prentis said: “Our new GI schemes guarantee quality and excellence for food lovers at home and around the world.

“I am really pleased to see Gower Salt Marsh Lamb gain protected status, and I can think of no better product to kick start our new scheme with.

“I would encourage producers from all around the UK to apply to the scheme, so that we can celebrate and protect more of our excellent local produce, and ensure it is given the recognition that it deserves.”

GI transition

UK GI’s offer three different logos to designate geographical indication, comprising a protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) marks.

Food that was previously registered under the EU’s GI scheme will have until 1 January 2024 to change the packaging to display the UK GI logos.

However, unlike its EU counterpart, the protection offered by UK GI’s only applies inside of the UK.

According to government figures, GIs represent around a quarter of UK food and drink exports by value, approaching £6 billion in export value in 2019.

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