March 13, 2012 4.22 pm This story is over 114 months old

Cornish pasty’s beef with Lincolnshire sausage

Imminent decision: Officials are set to rule whether the Lincolnshire sausage can only be produced in our county after a seven-year campaign.

A decision is imminent on Lincolnshire Sausage Association’s bid for Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) in Europe, meaning Lincolnshire sausages must only be produced in the county.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has almost reached a decision after carefully considering the application over the last two and a half years.

But Samworth Brothers, the company behind Ginster’s Cornish Pasties, has been a major objector throughout the process that could officially protect the origins of the Lincolnshire sausage.

A subsidiary of Samworth Brothers, Walkers Midshire Foods, produces Lincolnshire sausages, and the objection argues many of Lincolnshire sausages currently sold come from outside the county.

Managing Director Steve Crawford previously said: “To me, Lincolnshire sausages are like cheddar cheese or Yorkshire puddings, they are too generic for this kind of application, and the vast majority are not made in Lincolnshire.”

Lincolnshire Sausage Association Chair, Janet Godfrey, feels this is the very reason for applying to protect the geographic indication.

The application explains: “Many of the recipes for so-called Lincolnshire sausages made outside the county have become corrupted and there are over 150 butchers in Lincolnshire using family recipes handed down for generations dating back to the 1800s.”

“It appears to us that many of the objectors have only been making so-called Lincolnshire sausages relatively recently, profiting from the current fashion for regional foods.”

A true Lincolnshire sausage is at least 70% pork meat, coarsely cut and mixed with rusk breadcrumbs and sage, packed in natural casings.

Godfrey explained that the Lincolnshire sausages on sale in major supermarkets are not from the county and have varying recipes, although Sainsbury’s were the closest.

She said: “PGI status would not only increase production in the county but boost tourism to Lincolnshire.”

Lincoln Butcher Kenny Roberts (pictured above) from Elite Meats in the Bailgate, is optimistic about the result and the benefit it will have.

“It will give a tremendous boost to butchers across Lincolnshire and help to reinforce Lincolnshire as Britain’s favourite food county,” he said.

Efforts began seven years ago when the Lincolnshire Sausage Association was originally formed by butchers and interested parties, chaired by local farmer and pig producer, Janet Godfrey.

The Lincolnshire Sausage Application has tremendous support from the Lincolnshire public as well as Lincolnshire councils, MEPs and MPs.

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