The EC awarded Cornish pasties Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status meaning that anything calling itself a Cornish pasty will have to come from within Cornwall.
Big business to blame
But Chunk of Devon Pasties md Simon Bryon-Edmond told Foodmanufacture.co.uk that the “protectionist” ruling would allow Cornwall-based Samworth Brothers to dominate the market with its mass-produced products.
He said: “This has been railroaded through by big business and will dumb down the authentic product. There are three very large sheds in Cornwall which make most of the pasties in the UK and some artisan producers. I don’t think anyone can be proud of this ruling based on location of production.”
Tim Pointer, acting under-manager of Pengenna Pasties, based in Bude, Cornwall said the ruling was problematic for his company.
Disqualified on shape grounds
“It is a bit of a thorn in our side as our pasties are the wrong shape to qualify to be advertised as Cornish pasties. Ours have a small crimp on top, the PGI description is for Cornish Pasties to have a large side crimp.”
He added: “Having the status sounds nice for Cornish suppliers, but in fact it opens the doors for a lot of cheap imitations.”
The new ruling does not cover the quality of pasties, for example by stipulating minimum meat content. All it states is that the pasty must be crimped on the side.
Barred from British pie awards
Bryon-Edmond said his company had won the prize for best Cornish Pasty at the British Pie Awards in 2009, although it was disqualified from competing the year afterwards.
He said: “We use 16-17% meat in our steak pasties, and won three golds at the Great Taste Awards in 2010. The ingredients for the pasties are all sourced from local farmers. History pours scorn on the Cornish case to be home of the pasty anyway. Cornwall was never known for its flour production, the Somerset area was.”
A transition period of between one and five years to suppliers to comply with the PGI ruling is likely to be set in the next few weeks.