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Thursday, 29 July 2004


The BBC reports on a pork pie panic that is gripping Leicestershire. The people of Melton Mowbray, led by local councillor Matthew O’Callaghan, are keen to see the Melton Mowbray pie protected as a geographical indication under the EU regime. They argue that the pie, with its biscuity crust, grey-tinged meat and crooked sides should be protected because
"This is intellectual property…It's part of our food heritage. And it should belong to the people that made it."
The move is being driven by a group of seven manufacturers of the pie. However, other UK pie-producers aren’t happy. Northern Foods, which makes “Melton Mowbray” pies in Shropshire and Wiltshire, argues that the term merely refers to a style and quality of product and points to the fact that it has been making “Melton Mowbrays” for 100 years. Northern Foods initially threatened to bring the matter to court. However, DEFRA has agreed to take a second look at the application for protected status.
The IPKat isn’t really an expert on pork pies, but he does know that it can’t be assumed that a product indication is worthy of geographical indication status just because it coincides with the name of a geographical region. Many recipes that started off in single places have spread in popularity and are now produced in other locations. To “claw back” such product names could have dire effects on competition. Melton Mowbray may not be an example of such a “claw back though”. The IPKat waits to see what the UK Government has to say.

The joys of Melton Mowbray here
Spy the pie here, here  
Other pork pies of note here, here and here

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