West Country beef and lamb have joined Scotch beef and Welsh lamb as protected premium meats.

The meats have both won the EU’s coveted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which helps protect them from imitation and gives them a major new marketing tool.

They join British products such as Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Stilton and Cornish Pasties, which already hold protected status.

To bear the mark, the meat must satisfy strict criteria: for example, the animals must be born, reared and finished within the West Country region and be fed a forage-based diet.

“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,” said Peter Baber, chairman of Meat South West, the organisation behind the application for protected status.

Alongside Anglesey Sea Salt, which also received protection EU this week, the meats have boosted the total number of British food and drink products that hold EU protected status to 62.

“Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable contribution both locally and nationally,” said farming minister George Eustice.