Strong future predicted for West Country Beef and Lamb

West Country Beef and Lamb bearing the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) banner has a bright future ahead after establishing itself as a premium market product, according to Meat South West (MSW).

Farmers, processors and retailers have embraced the PGI, providing a strong platform to build further success, including introducing products in new retailer ranges. Since PGI status was achieved, around 30 abattoirs have signed up to the scheme, as well as the major multiples in the UK.

To meet the criteria for West Country PGI status, beef and lamb must be at least 70 per cent forage fed and come from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire. The PGI for beef and lamb from the West Country was gained after considerable work behind the scenes over many years by MSW and other organisations.

Ed Green, chairman of MSW, said: “Securing the PGI status for West Country Beef and Lamb was the result of many years of hard work. That work is clearly bearing fruit, establishing West Country produce on the national stage to the benefit of the entire supply chain in the region. Further opportunities exist further afield, as PGI status has value in other European markets such as France and Italy.

“The first year has been incredibly encouraging, providing real benefit to producers and processors in the region. It’s a solid foundation on which we can build, not only by broadening ranges with retailers, but ensuring more producers sign up and use the PGI properly to benefit their respective enterprises.”

MSW is a strategic advisory body which liaises with the industry and government on the priorities and needs of a profitable and productive regional meat and livestock sector. The board represents the whole supply chain, from farm to fork, and is committed to the success of the sector.