A speciality food group is on the look at for the next Midlands product with the potential to achieve protected name status.

East Midlands Fine Foods is encouraging the producers of distinguished food and drink products to put their names forward as the interest in regional products continues to grow.

Products that have already achieved this in the UK include Melton Mowbray pork pies and Stilton cheese, and Parma Ham and Champagne within the European Union.

“Gaining protected status is tremendously valuable for food and drink firms, and also for consumers, as it’s recognition of the provenance of the produce,” commented Jo Murphy from East Midlands Fine Foods.

Food producers from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland are encouraged to put forward a product which qualifies for any one of three protected status levels drawn up by the European Union: Protected Geographical Indication, Protected Designation of Origin, or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.

There are currently fewer than 40 protected names in Great Britain, with a further 40 currently being considered, compared to more than 700 currently protected in the rest of the EU.

For more information contact Jo Murphy or Jo Stevenson at East Midlands Fine Foods on 0115 9758810.