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Protected status: does it work?

By Lia Sanders on 11/03/15 11:00 AM

Sussex winemakers want their wines to be given a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). This will mean that any wine calling itself ‘Sussex’ will have to be made in the county.

But how important is such geographic protection? This is how some UK beverages have fared with (and without) it.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin lost its Protected Geographical Indication (one level down from PDO) this year because owners Pernod Ricard opted not to apply for the categorization as they now have to under EU law. It was the only gin in the UK protected in such a way.

Newcastle Brown Ale

For five short years Newcastle Brown Ale had protected status. In 2007 its owners opted to cancel it as it was preventing them from moving production outside the city. Now the Geordie ale is brewed in Yorkshire.

Scotch Whisky

Last year the Scottish whisky industry – which brings in £4.3 billion in exports for the UK – decided to back up their geographical indicator by starting a verification scheme. If a company does not apply to be verified they are not able to market their product as Scotch whisky within the EU.