A bid to retain geographical protection for Melton pork pies and Stilton cheese after the UK leaves the EU in 2019 has been backed by the local member of the European Parliament.
Rupert Matthews, the East Nidlands representative at the EU, visited Melton to champion local foods and talk to food producers and sellers about the issue of protected status.
He visited the Dickinson and Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, in Nottingham Street, where bakers have been making the famous pork pie since 1851.
Mr Matthews also called in at the Melton Cheeseboard stall at the cattle market to talk to Tim Brown, who owns the business’ shop in Windsor Street in the town.
The MEP has raised concerns about protected status of the region’s foods with the secretariat at the European Parliament in Brussels and intends to be vocal when discussions begin on what will happen when the UK exits the EU.
He said: “Both pork pies and Stilton are protected under EU law so that their authenticity and origin are guaranteed.
“I want to ensure that these protections continue following our departure from the European Union, so that food manufacturers and sellers in Melton are reassured of their status.”
Mr Matthews added: “It was wonderful to visit Melton to sample the fantastic local food.
“One of the things I want to do as MEP is to champion local food products in the East Midlands.
“The Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Melton sells some great food, especially the world-famous pork pies.
“I would encourage everyone in the area to pay a visit, as well as to the brilliant Melton Cheeseboard, which has close links to the Long Clawson dairy.”
The Melton visit is one of a number that the Conservative MEP is doing around the East Midlands region to promote local food products.
Last month he visited the Lincoln Sausage Festival to learn about Lincolnshire Sausages.