Both the UK and Japanese Governments have completed the process to grant special protected status to British food and drink products, including Cornish Pasties and Anglesey Sea Salt, to safeguard against imitation.

Businesses have welcomed the news that 37 Geographical Indications (GIs) will formally gain protection on Thursday 29th February following the completion of UK and Japanese scrutiny processes. According to the Government, a second group of protections will be announced once further work has concluded.

Following the announcement, the Government said that Japan’s status as the world’s third largest economy in 2022 and GDP per capita of £27,400 highlights the strength of its consumer market and the commercial opportunities for premium British products in Japan.

The secured GI status for British products such as Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish, Cornish Clotted Cream and Staffordshire Cheese prevents counterfeit products from being placed on the Japanese market, ensuring UK businesses can “export with confidence” and consumers receive authentic, high-quality products.

Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands said: “The UK’s excellent selection of unique, high-quality products are highly sought after around the world. Consumers in Japan can now be assured that they are enjoying the authentic taste of great British food and drink.

“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.”

The UK will also be protecting the GIs of several Japanese food and drink products, including Monobe Yuzu and Taisyu Soba. The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force on 1st January 2021 and will lead to the increase of protected GIs from seven under the EU-Japan trade deal to over 70. 

Food and Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “Our GI protections are a guarantee of quality and excellence – so that the best of British food and drink can be appreciated not only here in the UK, but around the globe.

“These additional protections will give assurance to British farmers and producers who export their unique products to Japan – and to Japanese consumers who will know they are buying the real thing.”