Angry response to American bid to make Melton pork pies

Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 5:15 pm
Matthew O'Callaghan with some of Melton's famous pork pies EMN-180703-164055001

Lobbyists want the government to allow American producers to make copies of traditional food like Melton pork pies after the UK leaves the European Union so they can sell them in British supermarkets.

But, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association chair, Matthew O’Callaghan, responded this week: “If the US’s proposals go ahead it will be the death of our food heritage through the production of low quality copies that bear no resemblance to the original.

“I suppose the US isn’t too bothered about food heritage because it has so little of it, and what it had was sacrificed long ago to the corporate greed of large anonymous manufacturers.

“We shall fight this all the way and certainly campaign to prevent our government selling us out.”

Mr O’Callaghan, who is chair of the UK Protected Food Names Association, added: “The current system protects Britain’s food heritage against lesser quality products either produced in this country or abroad.

“The system protects the livelihoods of many small craft producers in rural areas, it preserves the product’s links with the land and landscape, and allows a premium for those prepared to invest in heritage products.

“It also protects the consumer.”

The protected status of food, which is also enjoyed by Stilton cheese, Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausages, will be lost when the UK leaves the EU.

Producers have been talking to government officials to set up a replacement scheme.

The US has long opposed protecting foods because it says it prevents its producers from selling products in EU nations.