Graham Watson, Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West of England, has taken genuine Cornish pasties to his colleagues in the European Parliament in Brussels. It is a great show of support for the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) which is currently waiting for the European Commission to grant final approval for the PGI status for the Cornish delicacy.

MEP Graham Watson, who handed authentic Cornish pasties to his European colleagues at the European Parliament commented; “Cornish pasties make a valuable contribution to the Cornish economy. It’s a great product that supports thousands of jobs. Many products across Europe have benefited from gaining legal protection, from Feta Cheese to Parma Ham, to stop consumers being misled as to their origins. Tragically some producers are trading on Cornwall’s heritage without their pasties ever being near the Duchy. It is important to raise the profile of the County, and gain wide ranging support for the pasty’s application for protected status.

“Ahead of St Piran’s Day I was delighted to share Cornish pasties with fellow Parliamentarians from across Europe. I know they all enjoyed tucking in!”

Larry File, Chairman of the Cornish Pasty Association, commented: “It is fantastic to receive support from a local politician who can demonstrate the merits of our application in Europe. We are grateful that Graham Watson has taken our pasties to the European Parliament. We hope that his colleagues enjoyed eating them and now have a convincing reason for why the Cornish pasty should be protected.”

Next week, MEP Graham Watson will be meeting new EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos where he will again be raising the Cornish pasties PGI application. Graham supports British producers in protecting their regional foods and has also recently shown his backing to Somerset Cider Brandy.

The Cornish Pasty Association is currently waiting for the European Commission to finally approve the PGI status for the Cornish pasty. Once granted, it will mean that only Cornish pasties made in Cornwall and to a traditional recipe will be called ‘Cornish Pasties’.

Issue date: 4th March 2010
Interviews with CPA official spokespersons can be arranged by contacting
Laura Medel / Lisa Taylor
Geometry PR
0117 929 1900 / 07880 621 661
[email protected] / [email protected]

Interviews with MEP Graham Watson can be arranged by contacting:
Jackie Frost / James Sully
01458 252265 / 07824 313224 / 07920146397
[email protected]

Editors note
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) – covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how.

Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) – covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the area.

Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) – highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.

The Cornish Pasty Association PGI application was submitted to the European Commission in November 2008.
The following other West Country produce has already been awarded PDO or PGI status:

West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese
PDO status granted 21.06.96

Single Gloucester
PDO status granted 21.06.96

Gloucestershire Cider/Perry
PGI status granted 21.06.96

Exmoor Blue Cheese
PGI status granted 28.04.99

Dorset Blue Cheese
PGI status granted 23.12.98

Cornish Clotted Cream
PDO status granted 01.10.98