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Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Cheese granted protected status
Staffordshire cheese has become the latest product to be given protected status under EU law.

The status means it could earn extra European funds to promote it and also legal backing against other products taking the name made outside the area.

Makers of the cheese, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, said it has a distinctive taste because of the diet its dairy cows are fed on.

The white crumbly cheese joins 35 other UK products that share the title.

They include Stilton cheese and Newcastle Brown Ale.

'Excellent news'

The cows are fed mainly on grass and maize silage which comes from Staffordshire soil, with small amounts of protein supplements.

John Knox, of the Staffordshire Cheese Company, said: "It is great news for us.

"Staffordshire Cheese is unique and has a strong identity based on its taste and texture due to the distinctive nature of the cows diet, the mixture of starter cultures used and the size of the cloth bound cheese.

"I would encourage more producers to apply to the scheme."

Farming minister Jeff Rooker said the announcement was "excellent news".

He said: "This is further proof that quality British regional food is gaining the wider recognition it deserves."



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