Professional services group Baker Tilly has called on West Midlands food and drinks manufacturers to apply for EU protected status for their products.
This week the EU handed Anglesey sea salt and West Country beef and lamb the coveted status and now other manufacturers and producers have been urged to follow.
In the West Midlands, just Staffordshire cheese, Hereford and Worcestershire cider and Worcestershire perry are covered by the EU scheme.
Andy Capes, head of Baker Tilly’s northern food and drink group, said: “UK products are still under-represented in comparison with those of other EU nations. This could be because of a perception that the process is too bureaucratic or because of a lack of understanding of the different categories that exist. I would urge food producers and processors to embrace the assistance that is available to them to maximise opportunities under this legislation.
“The growing respect internationally for British produce as part of the wider “Brand Britain” initiative, coupled with protected status under this legislation, provides a fantastic platform for products and businesses to gain exceptional commercial benefits, both within the EU and worldwide.”
Schemes are in place to encourage diverse agricultural production and protect product names, according to Mr Capes.
More than 60 unique British foods have now achieved protected status according to the UK government. However, the EU’s database shows that Italy has registered 261 products, France 208 and Spain 173.