FOOD MANUFACTURER Northern Foods has launched a legal challenge aimed at stopping the Melton Mowbray pork pie gaining protected status.
Campaigners had received a fillip in March when DEFRA leant its support to the initiative, which would prevent pies from outside the Leicestershire town from bearing its name,
They claim the protected geographical indication status is vital to guard the traditional local recipe, which features a bowed pastry casing.
The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association was poised to take its request for protection to Brussels, where it would have to be approved by ministers from all 25 member states.
But lawyers for Northern Foods, which produces pork pies under the Melton Mowbray name, claim it is linked to quality, not provenance.
They have won a judicial hearing at the High Court which, if successful, could force the government to withdraw its support for the pie.
At the very least, it would harm the pie’s prospects for PGI status.