Sir: The “EU Protected Food Name scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed” (Defra). It is the integrity of this scheme which engenders shopper trust, without which it would be rendered worthless. (Cornish Clotted Cream makers join battle over PDO change, 3 January and subsequent letter from Bill Clarke, 11 January).
Put simply, the amendment being filed is proposing to permit Cornish clotted cream intended for manufacturing to be made differently to that destined for retail. If passed this would authorize processing techniques which alter the distinctive characteristics of Cornish clotted cream. Sixteen years ago such methods were not deemed as traditional and authentic by Defra and all stakeholders.
Products worthy of the PDO status eg. Champagne, Parma ham and Stilton should be made in the same way regardless of their final use. This is what shoppers rightly expect in order to maintain the trust of traditional food and drinks throughout the industry.
For five generations, my family has followed these principles to produce Cornish clotted cream for retail, foodservice and manufacturing purposes. We strongly believe this integrity has significantly contributed to the continued demand growth for clotted cream across all channels.
As producers, it is our responsibility to question why these changes are necessary. Surely the creation of this ‘two-tier’ system would only increase ambiguity and dilute the core principles of authenticity and traditions which are championed by the protected food names scheme?
Nicholas Rodda, MD, Rodda’s creamery