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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 13:48 GMT
Defra championing pork pie cause
Melton Mowbray pork pie
Campaigners want pie protection
An attempt to stop firms located outside Melton Mowbray from making the town's world famous pork pie is being backed by the government.

Pie enthusiasts from the Leicestershire town are campaigning for the snack to be awarded "protected geographic status" by the European Commission.

Champagne, Welsh lamb and Parma ham already enjoy the status.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has agreed to support the application.

Campaigners want to ensure the pie's name is not abused and undermined by firms based outside the area.

Sausage and rhubarb

A decision is expected from the European Commission by spring 2006.

Pie campaigner Matthew O'Callaghan said: "Once you've got the national government behind you and since nobody else makes Melton Mowbray pies in Europe, there's no real interest from the others in terms of objecting."

Stilton cheeses, which come from the same area as Melton Mowbray pies, are also on the EC list, although cheddar cheese has been judged as too generic.

Other food looking for protection from the EC are Cornish pasties, Cumberland sausages and Yorkshire rhubarb.

Town awaits verdict on pork pies
28 Feb 05 |  Leicestershire
Pastry company slashes 200 jobs
10 Feb 05 |  Northamptonshire
Melton leads country's workforce
29 Nov 04 |  Leicestershire

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