Cornish pasties worth £300m a year

Screen grab of Cornish pasties Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Cornish pasty production has almost doubled since 2005

The amount of money being turned over from Cornish pasty making has almost doubled since 2005 to about £300m annually, according to figures.

More than 120m pasties are produced per year, Cornwall Food and Drink said.

It comes as organisers of a Cornish event in London later hope it could spark millions of pounds worth of investment into the county.

The event "Cornwall Calling" at the Tate Britain is being hosted by Cornwall Community Foundation.

'Choose Cornish'

Ruth Huxley, from Cornwall Food and Drink, said: "I have been around in Cornwall now for 14 years and I think it has transformed enormously. The pasty industry and food manufacturing has really blossomed."

The organisation has launched a new year long campaign called Choose Cornish Every Day, which it hopes will see local produce more of a regular feature on shopping lists.

The "Cornish pasty" was given protected status by European lawmakers, called a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in 2011.

It means that pasties made anywhere other than Cornwall can no longer be called "Cornish".

Ms Huxley said: "The pasty growth is the culmination of a lot of things including European funding in the last decade.

"It has meant businesses have been able to go out and tackle new markets backed by European investment.

"You will now find a pasty shop on virtually every railway station and concourse in the UK. That was not the case a few years ago.

"There are 170m pasties of all types made each year, of that 120m are the Cornish pasty variety."

Ale renaissance

St Austell Brewery said it was now brewing about 25m pints every year, an increase of nearly six-fold since 2000.

James Staughton, from the brewery, said there had been "a real renaissance in Cornish cask ale".

Organisers hope the event in London will further boost Cornish produce and the county, too.

Chris Pomfret, from the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "When you look at the growth rate of some of our businesses, maybe this is a place the finance sector should be pointing potential investors to."

The event coincides with St Piran's Day which celebrates the 6th Century Irish monk who was apparently cast into the sea tied to a millstone but floated safely across to Perranporth.

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