Unlike other European countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, Britain did not have its own legally protected foods before European Union legislation came into force in 1993. Whereas other countries have had to harmonise their existing systems with the new EU rules, in Britain the system was adopted in its entirety from the beginning. However, as there has not been a strong history of protecting foods in Britain, there are still relatively few protected foods in the country.
As with all other countries in the EU, there are three types of European protection available for foods or agricultural products. Wines have their own scheme and are classified separately, although they still bear the same PDO/PGI labels.
Number of protected foods: 71