Popular BBC One show Countryfile returned to Melton this week, filming at Dickinson & Morris’ Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe for a forthcoming episode.
Filming took place inside the iconic shop on Monday and Melton food champion Dr Matthew O’Callaghan OBE was interviewed on the hot topic of how Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) might affect the protected status of the local Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Stilton Cheese which contribute directly over £100m to the local economy and indirectly to about £70m worth of tourism connected with food in the area.
Melton Mowbray Pork Pies were granted protected status by the EU in 2008, meaning only pork pies made in the area could carry the label.
But concerns have been raised that this protection could be at risk after Britain left the EU, potentially meaning anyone outside the specified local area could make a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, not using the proper recipe or ingredients, and making cheaper imitations which would harm Melton’s economy and affect its proud reputation as the ‘Rural Capital of Food’.
Dr O’Callaghan, who is chairman of the UK Protected Food Names Association and of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, said: “The interview was about what the protection does for Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, whether we’re concerned about the loss of this protection upon leaving the EU and what we would want in a new scheme.
“We need new legislation that protects UK products within the UK. We’ve had a positive response from the farming minister George Eustace to say they’re looking at a scheme and will consult on proposals in the autumn.”
The episode is anticipated to be screened on Countryfile in about a fortnight’s time. For details of forthcoming episodes visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t0bv/broadcasts/upcoming