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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 15:25 GMT
EU spurned to keep recipe secret
A sausage-maker has turned down the chance of special status because it would have meant divulging the recipe.

The EU was looking at giving Newmarket sausages protected geographical indication (PGI) status, banning anyone outside the town from making them.

Grant Powter, director of Powters, said signing up would mean mixing the recipe created in 1881 with that used by Musk - the town's other sausage-maker.

PGI has already been awarded to Parma ham, Champagne and Stilton products.

'Chalk and cheese'

Rival Suffolk firm Musk approached the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) two years ago to ask for its backing in gaining PGI status.

But when Defra officials approached Newmarket's other main sausage maker, Powters, they were rebuffed.

It would be like merging two wines - you just wouldn't think about it
Grant Powter

Grant Powter said: "We would have little to gain. Our protection relies on our secret recipe.

"We would have to divulge some of that information and agree on a common specification with our competitor.

"For it to work they would need to have some common features to make it a distinctive product.

"The only thing they have in common is they are pork sausages and they are made in Newmarket.

'Not interested'

"The recipes are totally separate. They are chalk and cheese really.

"It would be like merging two wines - you just wouldn't think about it."

He added: "Defra have written two or three times and I have had telephone conversations with them, but if we're not interested the scheme can't proceed."

Chris Sheen managing director of Musk's said: "Defra were interested but they had to go to all interested parties.

"They went to Powters, who said they weren't interested and so Defra said it wasn't really practical to go forward."

A Defra spokeswoman said: "As a department we have to consult any other producers of the sausages before making a decision and it would appear that because one was reluctant it wasn't a win, win situation. "

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