Support is growing for West Country Beef to be recognised as one of the EU's Protected Designation of Origins. It would mean that only beef reared and slaughtered in the region could bear the name. The idea is spearheaded by Taste of the West and Meat South West.

Farmer Jilly Greed said: "This would help to give the region's producers a chance to break the domination of the big abattoirs.

"Current beef prices are some 23p/kg below the national average."

Richard Ali, chief executive of EBLEX, welcomed the plan. "The more brands in the marketplace, the more differentiation there is."