West Country beef and lamb sparks more farmer interest

West Country beef and lamb sparks more farmer interestFarmers have been finding out how West Country Beef and West Country Lamb bearing the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) banner can help maximise returns.

More than 100 producers from the region attended two open meetings, organised by Meat South West (MSW), to hear more about the criteria required to meet PGI-marked specifications and how to market the product.

PGI-marked product is now being stocked by retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, amongst others.  Criteria required for West Country PGI status includes lamb and beef that is at least 70 per cent forage fed and coming from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The PGI for beef and lamb from the West Country was gained after years of hard work behind the scenes by MSW and other organisations.

Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West, said: “Securing the PGI for West Country beef and lamb earlier this year was a major achievement after years of hard work. Already, we have seen a clear demand for the product. We are delighted that farmers and processors have been quick to get on board to take advantage of the premium status given to the region’s beef and lamb now eligible to carry the PGI.”

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.