Moves to safeguard our Melton pork pies after Brexit

Matthew O'Callaghan launched first British Pie Awards EMN-170102-102815001
Matthew O'Callaghan launched first British Pie Awards EMN-170102-102815001

Moves are being made to safeguard the geographical protection of Melton Mowbray pork pies when the UK leaves the European Union.

Concerns have been mounting that Brexit will trigger the end of the protected status the EU granted Melton pies in 2009.

Campaigners fought hard to win the PGI rating, which establishes that the pies must be made to a traditional recipe and produced within a small region around Melton.

Concerned Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association (MMPA) set up a meeting with George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to clarify the situation.

And MMPA chairman Matthew O’Callaghan said after the meeting: “They are looking at a replacement scheme for the protected status Melton pies currently enjoy.

“The idea is to have something which will protect both UK and European food products in the UK and which will be accepted by other European countries.

“The situation with protected status following the Brexit vote is the biggest problem the pork pie industry is facing.”

Representatives of other foods which enjoy protected geographical status through the EU also attended the meeting with the minister.

Cumberland sausages, Dorset Blue cheese and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese are among those products which have the same protection as Melton pork pies.

Mr O’Callaghan added: “We had 27 members from UK protected foods at our meeting with the minister, from as far afield as the Outer Hebrides and Cornwall.

“Protected products are worth a billion pounds to the economy so this is a very important issue.”

The MMPA is now awaiting detailed proposals on the new scheme from DEFRA.