Japan agrees to protect British food and drink names

Japan and the UK have completed the process to grant special protected status to certain British food and drink products including Cornish Pasties and Anglesey Sea Salt in order to safeguard against imitation.

The UK grants Geographical Indication (GI) status to foods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) makes clear, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.

This first agreement with Japan will see 37 GIs formally gain protection, including Traditional Cumberland Sausage and Yorkshire Wensleydale, with a second group set to be announced once further work has concluded.

Trade Policy Minister, Greg Hands, said: “This announcement not only protects beloved British delicacies like Scotch Beef and Cornish Pasties, but also gives UK producers added confidence when selling into Japan, part of our plan to help British businesses grow and export more.”

He explained that securing GIs for iconic British products such as Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Welsh Beef and Staffordshire Cheese prevents counterfeit products being placed on the Japanese market, ensuring UK businesses can export with confidence and consumers receive authentic, high-quality products.

For UK businesses, GIs are, the Minister went on, vital for building trust and enhancing brand recognition, ultimately driving export growth and supporting the sustainability of local industries.

The UK will also be protecting the Geographical Indications of several Japanese food and drink products, including Hokkaido wine and Hiba beef.

Back to news