Defra has taken responsibility for administering EU protected food name applications in-house following a cost review.

Administration of the scheme has been handled by consultants ADAS, under contract to Defra, for almost three and a half years, following the closure of Food from Britain in March 2009, which previously ran the scheme.

In a letter to stakeholders last week, Defra claimed the move would “provide the most cost-effective mechanism for processing and encouraging applications.”

Defra praised ADAS for “the professional way in which they have promoted the scheme, processed applications and supported new and existing applicants.” UK products registered under the scheme increased from 39 to 48 during ADAS’s contract.

Irene Bocchetta - who previously administered the scheme at FFB - will transfer from ADAS to Defra when it takes back day-to-day responsibility on 1 September.

Defra’s decision will only affect English applications to the EU’s scheme. Administration of applications for Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish products will remain with the devolved administrations.