Sussex trugs could become protected under EU law.
Catherine Bearder, MEP for the South East of England, says the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products.
Sussex trugs have been made in the county for 185 years, since they were invented in Herstmonceux in 1829.
Mrs Bearder visited the Thomas Smith’s Trug Shop at Magham Down, Herstmonceux.
Robin Tuppen, owner of the shop, said, “Over the past few years there has been an influx of cheap Chinese knock-offs of our trugs and this has, inevitably, had an impact on the local makers, of which there are but five companies still operating. Some of these Chinese copies are being sold as traditional Sussex trugs.
“My intention here at Magham Down, is to create a Sussex Trug Heritage Centre so that the craft of the making of the Sussex trug can be protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy. EU legislation to help protect our craft is welcome and I will be engaging fully in the consultation process and call upon the other trug makers to do the same”.
Further information about the consultation can be obtained from Mrs Bearder’s office on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01865 249838.
Mr Tuppen can be contacted at email@example.com or by phoning 01323 847540 or 871640.