THE LEADER and local butchers are backing the appeal to get the Lincolnshire Sausage protected status after the bid was rejected by the Government.
The Lincolnshire Sausage Association applied for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) which would have meant only sausages made in the county and to a set recipe and method could use the name.
But the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs turned down the bid last week. They said:
• There are too many variations on the recipe.
• There is no enduring link between the product and the area.
• 95 per cent of Lincolnshire Sausages are made outside the county.
The decision has been condemned by the Lincolnshire Sausage Association, local butchers and the MP Sir Peter Tapsell, and the Leader is starting a ‘Protect our Sausages’ campaign.
The LSA said it was ‘devastated’ by the decision and that Defra had ‘capitulated to large scale producers’.
A statement added: “Support for this application from Defra would have helped to boost well over 150 small to medium enterprises in Lincolnshire – not just butchers but tourism in the county.”
LSA are believed to be looking at the possibility of an appeal.
Lakings of Louth Shop manager Chris Smith said: “Lincolnshire Sausage manufacturers are very proud of their produce, they are made around the country but don’t seem to capture the quality and texture of the ones made locally using traditional methods and ingredients.
“We sell up to £1,000 worth of Lincolnshire Sausages a week across the range of sausages, chipolatas, sausage meat and also in our sausage rolls.
“Protected status would have increased the demand for the sausages, I’m sure all the local butchers will be behind any appeal.”
Jim Sutcliffe, owner of Meridian Meats in Louth, said: “It’s a huge disappointment, though I have to question some of Defra’s reasons.
“They said 95 per cent of Lincolnshire Sausages are made outside the county, but no one has been to ask me how much tonnage we output.
“The link to the county is that the sage that goes into the sausages was brought across by the Romans.
“It would have been fantastic for the local economy to move all produce into
Lincolnshire, businesses like us would have benefited hugely.”
Trevor Fairburn, owner of Fairburn Butchers in Louth, said: “People are making the sausages around the country but they’re not really Lincolnshire Sausages!”
Louth MP Sir Peter Tapsell, who backed the original bid, added: “I’m extremely sorry to hear this has been turned down, it’s very disappointing though I’m not altogether surprised.
“There are some issues over the amount of meat being made outside of Lincolnshire, which should surely be a cue for Lincolnshire’s pork producers to step it up.”
“Clearly the Lincolnshire Sausage should be made locally, if anybody can sell them without any link to the county then it’s rather pointless.
“The LSA don’t have to give up, and I will support them in any appeal.”
Janet Godfrey, of the Lincolnshire Sausage Association, told the Leader she believed the organisation had ‘good grounds to argue the cause’.
“I believe that we should fight it but we need legal advice but have limited resources to fund it,” she said.
“Having read the decision letter I think that we have good grounds to argue our cause. They have put too much emphasis on the ‘recipe’, especially the sage content and the relatively high rusk or bread content, rather than the ‘specification’ and the fact that the coarse ground meat and the rusk or bread content give the sausage its loose texture and a bite that is not found in non-Lincolnshire Lincolnshire sausages.
“PGI status for Lincolnshire sausages would be job neutral nationally and job beneficial for Lincolnshire. Defra did not consider jobs when they granted Melton Mowbray pork pies and Cornish Pasties PGI status.”