Northern Foods drops pork pie zone challenge
A long battle between British pie producer Northern
Foods from Leeds and the British department for environment, food and rural
affairs (Defra) is likely to have come to an end.
Pie makers in the Melton Mowbray area - a region traditionally associated
with this kind of pie in the East Midlands - raised the issue in an attempt to
protect their recipe and create an exclusive zone in which the pork pie can be
The area encompasses the cities of Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton,
but does not include the counties of Shropshire and Wiltshire where Northern
Foods produces its Melton Mowbray pies.
Northern Foods now has agreed on a five year period to switch the
manufacturing to the East Midlands. The company will have to change the recipe
and processing techniques over the next five years.
The battle between the company and Defra even touched the EU's geographical
indications (GI) system, as the pies might be the first UK product to be
protected by GI status.
The market is worth an estimated annual €77.1 million and claimed to be the
fastest growing section of the pork pie market. Northern Foods has a 24% market
Genuine Melton Mowbray pork pies are grey in colour and made from uncured
pork. The pies should be baked free standing, giving it a unique shape.
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