THE application to give Lincolnshire Sausage special protection has been turned down, it has been announced today (Wednesday).
DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has turned down the application despite heavy local support.
They gave a number of reasons for the decision, including the fact that Lincolnshire Sausages have been made outside the county for over 20 years, and that as many as 95 per cent are made outside Lincolnshire.
They also said there were ‘too many variations of recipe’.
Defra said: “The Government fully supports applications for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status; it gives consumers a guarantee of quality and authenticity when buying their food, helps local producers who are able to prove that their product is the real thing, and protects the heritage of our local foods; but there are strict criteria the product has to meet.”
Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice said: ”British food is outstanding and we’re working hard to protect the local heritage of certain foods through PGI status.
“But with so many variations on the recipe, and 95 per cent of sausages sold under the ‘Lincolnshire Sausage’ label being made outside the county, the application as it stood could have seriously damaged businesses and jobs.
“We remain open to looking at other options which would allow producers in Lincolnshire to highlight the traditional and local nature of their sausages without potentially damaging the overwhelming majority of manufacturers.”
Richard Dodd, Head of the News at the British Retail Consortium, said: “We agree with the Defra decision and are very pleased they have agreed with us.
“The Lincolnshire Sausage is a generic expression customers associate with a recipe and not necessarily with a locality.
“The sausages are overwhelmingly made outside of Lincolnshire, in fact there are no sausage producers in the county that are certified to BRC standards.
“We’ve acted in the interests of customers and sausages producers around the UK, who would have been damaged by protected status.”
More to follow.