Butchers face renaming task if lobby secures PGI status

If there is a ruling that gives the Cornish Pasty Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) status, butchers and manufacturers outside the country will have to rename the product.

The Cornish Pasty Association has indicated it is prepared to fight for the right to give protected status to Cornish pasties despite strong opposition from food manufacturer, Northern Foods.

Angie Coombes, of Taste of the West, which has pulled together the pasty association's campaign, announced the group's intention saying it was vital to protect the heritage and traditions of the recipes and production of a quality product.

Northern Foods, which opposes the campaign, is already locked in a legal battle over the rights to the exclusive use of the name 'Melton Mowbray' being sought by local producers.

The company has been granted an oral appeal against a decision made by the High Court in December 2005 to award PGI status to the Melton Mowbray pork pie.

The application, made by the Cornish Pasty Association, will be considered by the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which has the power to grant PGI status. If awarded PGI, only pasties made in Cornwall could be sold as Cornish. Northern Foods has factories in Wiltshire and Shropshire. Ms Coombs said it was hugely important for the product to be awarded PGI status in order to protect the level of investment poured into the product, especially by larger local manufacturers that distribute pasties on a national scale.

She said the Cornish Pasty Association represented 42 businesses and the product would become diluted if PGI status was declined. Northern Foods refused to comment as the Journal went to press.

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