Melton Mowbray pork pies are to be given protected status by EU law.

The European Commission ruling, which awards Protected Geographical Indicator status, means only pork pies made in a traditional manner and in the vicinity of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, will be allowed to use the town’s name on the labelling.

The move cannot now be challenged from within the UK and will become law providing there are no objections from other member states before 4 October.

It marks the end of a 10-year battle for local councillor and chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, Matthew O’Callaghan (pictured), who said that he believed PGI status would have an immediate economic and consumer benefit.

Matthew O

“Fundamentally, it stops people using the name and reputation of Melton Mowbray for commercial gain alone and ensures that the market is not devalued,” said Mr O’Callaghan.”I hope that this move encourages other regional producers to seek the recognition they deserve for their distinctive products.”

The Melton Mowbray pork pie will join 34 other UK products registered under the European Protected scheme including Welsh Lamb and Scottish Farmed Salmon and other European products such as Champagne and Parma Ham.

How to identify a Melton Mowbray pork pie

  • High meat content
  • Uses fresh uncured pork which is grey in colour
  • Is baked unsupported, without the use of a hoop, which gives it an unmistakeable saggy bow-shaped appearance