Cafes, restaurants and pubs may have to take the Cornish out of their pasties as the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) takes one step closer to restricting the classification to only those made in the county.
The association’s application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status has been approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and will now be submitted to the European Commission for final approval.
Angie Coombs of the CPA, said: “Consumer demand is growing for Cornish pasties. The importance of the Cornish pasty industry to the wider Cornish economy cannot be stressed enough.
“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.”
In a survey of British consumers by BMRB, two thirds thought that non-Cornish pasties that were labelled as such, were deceiving, and a staggering 74 per cent supported the protection of the Cornish Pasty term. CPA members currently sells £60m worth of Cornish Pasties every year.
A traditional Cornish pasty consists of minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5 per cent), swede or turnip, potato, onion and a light, peppery seasoning encased in a ‘D’ shaped savoury pastry casing. The crimping for the casing must be on one side, and not on top, and sturdy enough to support the filling without cracking or splitting. No additives or flavourings may be used, and most importantly, it must be made in Cornwall.
Because the CPA is only applying for PGI status, the pasty ingredients need not be sourced from Cornwall, in contrast to if they were applying for Protection of Destination of Origin (PDO), which would include the ingredients.
If the application is approved when it reaches the European Commission, large retailers and manufacturers such as Ginsters and the West Cornwall Pasty Co., will not be affected, as they currently produce their pasties in the Cornwall area.