Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association
The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association is a group of pork pie manufacturers in the Melton Mowbray area of England, UK. The association was set up in 1998 with the aim of helping to protect the Melton Mowbray pork pie recipe.
Product protection under the EU
In 1999 the association, a group of seven local manufacturers, applied to the EU to have their products categorised as having Protected Geographical Indication, to ensure that only pies made in an area around Melton Mowbray could use the Melton Mowbray name.
Northern Foods, a large food corporation, tried to prevent this move over the usage of "Melton Mowbray" on the wrappings of its own pork pies. Northern Foods viewed the situation as unfair and stated in press releases that the MMPPA's dominant member, Samworth Brothers, has made cured and uncured pork pies in Leicester and that the designation area was shaped to include the Samworth factory there. According to Northern Foods, 99% of the pork pies made under the association banner are made by Samworth Brothers. Northern Foods took the matter to the European Court of Justice, but the appeal was eventually withdrawn. Northern Foods' move against the new requirements was dismissed by the High Court.
The PGI application was finally granted on 4 April 2008 and the PGI status came into effect in July 2009.
The name Melton Mowbray can now only be applied to uncured pork-filled pies cooked without supporting hoops and made within a 10.8 square mile (28 square kilometre) zone around the town. Permissible ingredients are fresh pork (pies must be at least 30% meat), shortening (usually lard), pork gelatine or stock, wheat flour, water, salt and spices (predominantly pepper). Artificial colours, flavours and preservatives are not allowed.
Prior to PGI status coming into effect, Pork Farms (which had taken over Northern Foods' pork pie interests) announced that their Bowyers factory at Trowbridge in Wiltshire would close with the loss of 400 jobs. Production of the (mainly Melton Mowbray branded) pies was transferred to Nottingham, which is inside the area in which Melton Mowbray pies can be made under the PGI rules.
Members argue that the association provides protection for smaller producers.
Current members are:
- Mrs King's Pork Pies of Cotgrave
- F Bailey & Son of Upper Broughton
- Dickinson & Morris of Melton Mowbray
- Brocklebys of Melton Mowbray
- Mark Patrick Butchers of Birstall
- Walker & Son of Beaumont Leys
- Leesons Butchers of Oakham
- Nelsons Family Butchers of Stamford, Lincolnshire
- Dunkleys of Wellingborough
- Hartland Pies of Cotgrave
- "'Pie zone' battle goes to Europe". BBC News. 2006-03-14. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "Pork pie makers celebrate status". BBC News. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "The Melton pork pie is coming home". Melton Times. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association Members". http://www.mmppa.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Today programme April 2009
- EU Status granted in October 2008
- Nelsons in Stamford provides pork pies for the Queen in December 2007
- Northern Foods drops pie challenge in November 2006
- European Court of Appeal in March 2006
- Northern Foods battles over its Trowbridge and Market Drayton pork pie factories in January 2006
- Wanting pork pies protected in July 2004
- Andrew Murrison complains in June 2004
- Pork pies in March 2003