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Catherine Bearder is encouraging makers of traditional British products to tell the European Commission why they deserve the types of protection already there for many of our foods and drinks.

key_trugs.pngThe Commission has launched a public consultation on the protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products.

This consultation is looking at giving the same protections to many traditional products from certain areas that agricultural products such as foods like Cornish Pasties and Wensleydale Cheese already have.

The Commission is looking for contributions to that consultation and Catherine is encouraging all of businesses and producers that fit the bill to contribute their views.

Information on the consultation can be found here. The deadline for submissions is October 28th and Catherine is offering any help people need on submitting their contributions to the consultation.

One local business that will be contributing is Thomas Smith's Trug Shop. Catherine recently visited the Trug Shop and heard about how important these protections will be for Sussex Trugs.

Robin Tuppen, owner of the Trug Shop, with over 30 years' experience making trugs, explained the problems that these traditional crafts face. He commented:

"I hope that products like our trugs will be able to get the same kind of protection that Champagne has.

"There are only a few traditional trug makers left and we are being undercut by cheap Chinese imitations passing themselves off as Sussex Trugs.

"They end up breaking within 12 months whereas ours can last up to 60 years.

"Trug making and other traditional industries should be protected to ensure that we can continue to train the next generation."

Catherine Bearder added:

"It was fantastic to see these trugs being made and the traditional methods still being used today.

"These are exactly the types of product that we should be protecting, it's wrong that cheap imitations made in China can be sold as traditional Sussex trugs.

"I look forward to welcoming Robin and several other producers of great traditional British products in Brussels so that they can take their message straight to the European Commission."

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