30 November 2005

Designations of Origin: R (Northern Foods) v DEFRA

Following on rapidly from the ECJ's decision in "feta" (Germany v Commission [2005] EUECJ C-465/02 (25 Oct 2005)) which held, among other things, that there could be no such thing as "Yorkshire feta", Mr Justice Crane is being asked to consider today the notion of Melton Mowbray park pies from Leeds (see "Pork pie row heads to High Court" on today's BBC website). According to the news report the application in the Administrative Court is for judicial review of DEFRA's decision to have Melton Mowbray listed as a designation of origin for pork pies.

The basis of the application is that the proposed designation of origin takes in not just the town of Melton Mowbray but just about the whole of the East Midlands. The argument is that that a region of 1,800 square miles is much larger than the legislation intended. According to an earlier BBC report the distinguishing feature of a Melton Mowbray pork pie is its irregularity: "a real Melton Mowbray pork pie kind of collapses on itself because it's baked 'free-standing'. Apparently supermarket pies are just far too upright. That might go down well with the Competition Commission.

Apologies to readers for the limited number of posts over the last few weeks. I have been busy with other things but will catch up at the weekend.

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