from Richard Hall, chairman, Zenith International, Bath

Support for Melton Mowbray’s artisans is a misreading of pgi

from Clive Dibben, 2nd Pillar Projects, Weymouth

Sir; I am mystified how Mars can argue: “Our current ad campaign for AquaDrops is accurate, responsible and not misleading” (The Grocer, June 26, p57).
How can it be accurate to state that a solid sweet offers ‘instant hydration’? How can it be responsible to abuse a fundamental dietary principle such as hydration in this way ? How can it not be misleading to base a campaign around such a falsehood, even to the point of spuriously announcing the creation of a new ‘hydrating sweet’ concept?
Yes, consumers should have enough common sense to avoid actually being misled, but that is no excuse.
Sir; Northern Foods may have been making pork pies for 100 years, but the recent offering from Julian Wild (The Grocer, June 26, p25) is half-baked.
Laudable though his support for the artisan pie makers of Melton Mowbray may seem, Mr Wild appears confused about Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) and the European Protected Food Name Scheme, of which they are part.
As the European Regulations on which PGIs depend make clear, any group (or in some cases individual) can submit an application for PGI status. They need to show that they’ve been using the name for at least five years, that the product is linked to a particular location and that they have standards and robust
inspection and certification procedures to go with them.
In this respect, it would make no difference whether an application was submitted by artisans or corporate giants. Acceptance of PGI status would prevent anyone outside the area designated by the standards from using the Melton Mowbray name. It would also prevent anyone from inside the designated area from using the name unless they were producing pies according to the approved specification.
As such Melton’s pie makers could benefit from PGI although pie makers unable to meet the specification by reason of geography or methodology might be miffed. But no one is stopping them making pork pies, hand raised or otherwise. They just wouldn’t be able to say they were Melton Mowbray pork pies. Nor would it stop a newcomer from making Melton Mowbray pork pies there.
And that’s the heart of the issue. PGI status is less about individual businesses and more about the protection and development of local economies.