Newmarket sausages granted European protected status


The sausages have to be produced in Newmarket or a very specific surrounding area

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Sausages made in Suffolk have been granted a special status which puts them alongside the likes of Parma ham, Champagne and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Newmarket sausages have become the 50th British food product to be awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Commission.

It means only local companies can call their produce Newmarket sausages.

Grant Powter, from Powters Sausages, said it would protect the "reputation and quality" of the sausages.

Certain criteria had been set for anyone wanting to call their product a Newmarket sausage.

Location is key - the sausages have to be produced in the town of Newmarket or a very specific surrounding region, which incorporates Dullingham, Woodditton and Kirtling in Cambridgeshire.

The sausages must be made from prime cuts of pork from the whole carcass, the shoulder or the belly - so no offal or mechanically recovered meat.

What is a Newmarket sausage?

  • Seasoned pork sausages using fresh, prime cuts
  • Must be produced in Newmarket or a very specific surrounding area
  • Usually measure 10-15cm long, 2.5-3.5cm in diameter and are slightly curved in appearance
  • Can also be produced as a chipolata (8-12cm long), a cocktail sausage (6cm) or a 'jumbo' (20-24cm)
  • Seasoning includes combinations of black and white pepper, salt, thyme, parsley and nutmeg
  • It is claimed that Queen Victoria was a fan

The minimum meat content is 70% and the seasoning can make up a maximum of 3%.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said anyone found using the name Newmarket sausages incorrectly would be asked to stop.

If they continued, Defra said the Food Standards Agency and the local authority would become involved.

Mr Powter, managing director of Powters, said: "I am delighted this regional food product has now gained the protection it deserves by virtue of the reputation and quality which have been traditionally attributed to the making of sausages in Newmarket for more than 150 years."

David Heath, minister for agriculture and food, said the PGIs were important in "keeping traditional foods and recipes alive".

"The Newmarket sausage is unchanged since the days of Queen Victoria and the original recipe has been passed down the generations," he said.

Three companies had made the joint application for the special status - Powters, Eric Tenant Butchers and Musk's Sausages.

The campaign started 10 years ago but was stalled because Powters did not want to divulge the recipe for its sausages.

Common ingredients were agreed and the application was made last month.

Inside Out East, on BBC One from 19:30 GMT on Monday and available for seven days on the iPlayer, is covering this issue.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Coming from a particular location is absolutely no guarantee of quality. Whats more it is a barrier to innovation. Champagne cannot evolve into an better drink nor can Melton Mowbray pies evolve because they must meet a specific criteria to count. It also means that comapanies who may wish to move their premises by a few miles often cant do so as they may be outside the official area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    I got fed up with "Protected Geographical Indication" when I heard that cheese produced in Stilton can't be called Stilton Cheese, and decided to boycott anything that I'm aware has PGI status. If it's really of better quality, it doesn't need any kind of bureaucrats' stamp.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    What a wonderful idea....If for no other reason than to preserve the many, many locations all around Europe that have a heritage. Mass production and mega-coporations endanger tradition and quality. Take the lowly Danish butter cookie, now being produced in Portugal and Thailand. It's not quite the same any more. is it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Many products made in the UK have a Designated status, such as Stilton Cheese (see Stilton Cheese Makers website). These are usually locally produced foods with a distinct character and are worth protecting from the dumbing down of mass manufacturing. That is what has been granted to Newmarket sausages.
    Support your local producers rather than denigrating their efforts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    What is the point of a Geographic protection. A Placename Foodtype is just a recipie. There is nothing special about the Placename part except as a designation or place of origin. If the protection were "to qualify as Placename Foodtype you must be within x% of the recognized recipie" that works. But when it's X miles of Placename, it's absurd, especially when "Placename" is misattributed.


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