Pie branding on track

Makers of the Cornish pasty in Cornwall have moved a step closer to securing branding rights for the traditional snack.

by: Avril Ormsby: Reuters | 30 Jul 2008

This comes after the government backed their European bid for regional protection.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs will take the Cornish Pasty Association's (CPA) application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) to Brussels.

If successful, only pasty makers in Cornwall that use traditional methods and recipes for the meat and vegetable snack folded in pastry will be able to use the trademark or "appellation controlee", barring copy-cat like products from branding and marketing their products as Cornish pasties.

"The importance of the Cornish pasty industry to the wider Cornish economy cannot be stressed enough," said Angie Coombs of the CPA committee.

CPA members make about 87 million pasties a year, in a growing market.

The 60 million pounds of sales represent about 6 percent of the Cornish food economy, it said.

A spokesman for Defra said the application meets all the criteria for a protected food name. It now goes in front of an appeal process before being considered by the European Commission.

A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive D shape with the pastry crimped on one side, never on top. It is filled with minced or roughly cut chunks of beef, swede or turnip, potato and onion.

"We believe it is not unreasonable to ask companies to honestly label their products so that the consumer is guaranteed a level of quality, recipe and origin when they purchase them," the CPA said.

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