LONDON – West Country Beef and West Country Lamb have joined the list of more than 60 unique British foods protected by the European Union's Protected Food Name program.

The UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) estimates the products, along with Anglesey Sea Salt which also made the list, contributed more than £900 million ($1.5 billion) to the European economy.

“We are delighted to be awarded PGI status for West Country beef and lamb,” said Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West. “We look forward to working with farmers and processors in the south west region to market top quality beef and lamb under the West Country PGI banner.”

The Protected Food Name program highlights regional and traditional foods and provides protections for food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis. The legislation establishing the program came into force in 1993.

“Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of,” said Farming Minister George Eustice. “Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally. We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognized. Having been awarded the protected food name status, the family business of Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt is expected to grow its workforce by 25 percent this year.”