product has earned the right to PGI
from Tom Bridge, international development chef, by e-mail
Sir; The row that has broken out concerning who has the right to produce Melton Mowbray pork pies has wider implications for a wealth of small food producers in the UK (The Grocer, May 29, p12).
The government is backing regional producers’ claims for protected status in a high court challenge from producers outside the region.
They claim that because they follow the traditional recipe they have every right to describe their pies as ‘Melton Mowbray.’ It is essential that the UK government maintains this support for small regional producers of traditional products such as the Melton Mowbray pork pie. Well known products such as Stilton and Camembert cheeses, Champagne and Parma ham have benefited from protection afforded by the EU’s protected geographical status.
We believe there is a similar case to be made for Melton Mowbray pork pies. We have lobbied hard in Europe for the protection of traditional and regional small businesses and have received widespread support, not least from the UK government. We hope it maintains its commitment to local produce by continuing to fight the court action and sending a message that protection is a priority. It must be seen to support its policy of helping small businesses. After all, 89% of food businesses have fewer than 10 employees.
Sir; The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association has every right to seek protected geographical indication status. I back everything Matthew O’Callaghan says (The Grocer, May 29, p12).
I have my own views because I support everything concerning the history of food and the best of British food.
There is no other pie like the Melton Mowbray and only one place in all the land where it is found in its original recipe and that is Dickinson & Morris.
Companies will try hard to make a Melton Mowbray, but without success.
It is like trying to take away the Cornish pasty from Ginsters, which does a unique job of making the finest pasty in Great Britain. And it should only be made in Cornwall.
I try to create both these products near to the original recipe from my collection of antique cookbooks. I get close, but have to admit defeat.
Northern Foods should concentrate on making its own version of a high quality pork pie and keep away from Melton Mowbray - that’s for the professionals.