British Protected Designation of Origin

Fresh Yorkshire PDO Rhubarb. Elaine Lemm

Have you ever wondered what a British Protected Designation of Origin is. PDO as it is known is mentioned all over the place when it comes to food not just in the UK but also in Ireland and the rest of Europe. In Britain, as elsewhere the PDO status protects our heritage and historical foods.

The heritage, character and reputation of British foods need all the help possible to protect them from imitation - and often inferior - reproduction.

The European Union (EU) has a scheme in place to protect these precious foods.

The EU Protected Food Name identifies such foods where their authenticity and origin can be guaranteed and protects against imitation throughout the whole of the EU.

The application process is lengthy and complicated but the protected status reaps rewards for the producers - many enjoying a higher profile across the EU and some worldwide - than before the protected status.

PDO =Protected Designation of Origin

Open to products produced, processed and prepared within a specific geographical area, and with features and characteristics attributable to that area.

PGI = Protected Geographical Indication

Open to products produced or processed or prepared within a specific geographical area, and with features or qualities attributable to that area.
These are the current products which have protected status. It is hoped that shortly Yorkshire Rhubarb and the Cornish Pasty and several other great foods will join this illustrious list.


Yorkshire Rhubarb gained PDO status, February 2010.
Cornish Pasties are struggling as being deemed too generic?


As of February 22nd 2011 Cornish Pasty now has a PGI.


Here are some of the PDO foods currently listed.


  • Newcastle brown ale (PGI)
  • Kentish ale (PGI)
  • Kentish strong ale (PGI)
  • Rutland bitter (PGI)


  • Beacon Fell traditional Lancashire cheese (PDO)
  • Bonchester cheese (PDO)
  • Buxton blue (PDO)
  • Dorset Blue cheese (PGI)
  • Dovedale cheese (PDO)
  • Exmoor Blue cheese (PGI)
  • Single Gloucester (PDO)
  • Swaledale cheese (PDO)
  • Swaledale ewes' cheese (PDO)
  • Teviotdale cheese (PGI)
  • Stilton - White cheese (PDO)
  • Stilton - Blue cheese (PDO)
  • West Country farmhouse Cheddar cheese (PDO)


  • Gloucestershire cider (PGI)
  • Gloucestershire perry (PGI)
  • Herefordshire cider (PGI)
  • Herefordshire perry (PGI)
  • Worcestershire cider (PGI)
  • Worcestershire perry (PGI)


Fresh fish, Molluscs and Crustaceans

Fresh meat and offal

  • Orkney beef (PDO)
  • Orkney lamb (PDO)
  • Scotch beef (PGI)
  • Scotch lamb (PGI)
  • Shetland lamb (PDO)
  • Welsh Beef (PGI)
  • Welsh lamb (PGI)

Fruit, vegetables and cereals

Information, facts and figures from Food From Britain