Walker Morris takes pork pies to ECJ

Walker Morris has won a Court of Appeal hearing over the geographical denomination of pork pies.

Partner Patrick Cantrill was acting for Northern Foods in its fight to protect the famous ‘Melton Mowbray’ pork pie name.

Lords Justice Jacob and Morritt today (14 March) ruled that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) needs to clarify the European regulation governing areas of protected geographical indication (PGI).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association (MMPPA) argued successfully in the High Court that Melton Mowbray pies should be produced within an 1,800 square mile area encompassing parts of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

Northern Foods appealed against the December 2005 decision, saying that the proposed area is arbitrary and contrary to the rules for establishing a PGI. The company also claimed that it would force the closure of its Shropshire and Wiltshire pie factories, affecting 1,000 jobs.

The case will now go to the ECJ for a clarification of the rules.

Cantrill instructed Brick Court Chambers’ Mark Hoskins. Matthew Talbot of Leicester firm Harvey Ingram instructed Hogarth Chambers’ Michael Edenborough for the MMPPA. The Treasury Solicitor’s Department instructed 1 Crown Office Row’s Wendy Outhwaite for Defra.