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Shellfish: Colchester

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects a decision to be made on the application of protected geographic indicator status to the Colchester oyster; and if he will make a statement. (290738)

The application to register the Colchester Native Oyster, first received in 2005, had a number of objections received during the consultation process.

Officials subsequently met with representatives of the applicant group in May 2007 to discuss the objections and outstanding points relating to the product specification for the application. Further information relating to the geographical area and other aspects of the application was sought from the applicant group which, despite numerous and regular reminders from officials, has not been forthcoming.

As a result, it has not been possible to complete our assessment of the validity of the application for protected geographical indication status for the Colchester Native Oyster. Although the scheme is a voluntary one, we will continue to pursue this with the applicant group.