Westcountry food products in line for EU funding to boost sales abroad

April 15, 2014 5:53 PM

Westcountry products such as Cornish pasties, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork have long been recognised by locals and people across the UK for their distinct flavours.

But now South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson says the Westcountry's speciality products that benefit from protected EU status could be winning over thousands of new customers around the world after a new EU funding programme was approved today in the European Parliament.

Gloucestershire Perry, Fal oysters, Cornish clotted cream and Somerset cider brandy also feature on the list.

The new scheme will fund programmes to promote the high-quality agricultural products in Europe and in fast-growing economies around the world such as China and South Korea. It will see a major increase in funding, from £51 million across the EU in 2014 to £165 million in 2020.

Commenting, Sir Graham said:

"This new scheme will give Westcountry farmers, fishermen and brewers the opportunity to bring a taste of the South West to the world."

"I was pleased to see last year an EU-funded trade mission to Japan and South Korea to promote our very own West Country Farmhouse Cheddar."

"The European Parliament has today ensured that traditional products with European protected status like Cornish pasties will be given extra funding to boost their exports and win over new customers abroad."

West Country beef and lamb were awarded the status in January of this year following a long campaign and exports of the meats to France and Italy have already increased.

To date over 60 food products across the UK have gained EU protected status, protecting them from imitation or fraud and ensuring that customers know they are buying an authentic locally sourced product. The prestigious award also helps to boost sales by increasing visibility both at home and abroad.