Artisan Food Law Blog
Yesterday at Trealy Farm was a voyage of discovery and understanding , today our journey continues as we discover how to make good use of the whole animal. It was James’ turn to lead.
First, a hearty breakfast of the famous Trealy Farm boudin noir (black pudding), bacon and freshly laid eggs with plenty of good bread and all the accompaniments you might expect set us up for the day.
On 26 March 2013 the High Court handed down judgement in FAGE UK Limited v Chobani UK Limited which proved to be a classic passing-off case, only this time the subject was yoghurt. The question before the High Court was whether the phrase ‘Greek yoghurt’ carried sufficient reputation and goodwill as a distinctive yoghurt made in Greece to warrant protection. Whilst the production of yoghurt can be traced back some 15,000 years, FAGE was undoubtedly assisted by the fact that all yoghurt sold in the UK during the last 25 years labelled ‘Greek yoghurt’ was strained yoghurt made in Greece.
I knew this was going to be a special experience from the outset, food from farm to fork and every stage in between. We, my son Nat and I, arrived at Trealy Farm for The Meat Course in good time on a Friday evening in early March to a warm welcome from Ruth and James, the brains and inspiration behind all that goes on at Trealy Farm. Nicky, our amazing cook for the weekend, was already busy at work wrestling with a pig’s head, roasting beetroot and preparing celeriac soup for the following day. We were the first to arrive and privileged to have such a relaxed introduction to the weekend.
On 4 March 2013 the European Commission published the results of a study undertaken on the value of Geographical Indication (GI) food products. The results provide some insight into the overall impact of GI products which are considered here from the perspective of the UK.
A GI is the name of a product where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. It is a type of intellectual property right that can apply in the EU to different types of products under one of four schemes.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has shaped agriculture in Europe since 1962. Since then a progressive change in the structure of agricultural undertakings has taken place with large corporate interests now dominating food production and able to take advantage of the CAP which accounts for roughly half of the EU’s budget, some £50 billion of which 70% is spent on direct payments. In the UK around 200,000 farmers receive £3.3 billion but it is the big corporates that benefit most.
On 31 January 2013 the Department of Health (DoH) published Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling: Joint Response to Consultation. The report is a response to the consultation carried out last summer on front of pack (FoP) nutrition labelling in which the Department of Health states its commitment to the provision of information aimed at helping people make healthy choices. Will it make a difference?
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future of organic agriculture. European organic production rules cover the whole production chain from farm to fork. Producers who follow the rules have the right to label their products ‘organic’ and to put the EU green leaf logo on packaging. The rules for organic production are set out in Regulation (EC) No 34/2007 and Regulation (EC) No 889/2008.
The consultation raises a number of key issues: simplifying the legal framework, the co-existence of GM crops with organic farming, better control systems and trade arrangements and the impact of the new labelling rules.
May be that headline should have read: Westminster insists burgers must be indigestibly tough or incinerated prior to consumption?
Over the last few weeks Westminster City Council has come in for a lot of stick for a reported crack down by environmental health officers on sales of medium rare and rare burgers. This followed earlier reports about Westminster’s action in requiring the Brasserie Blanc in Covent Garden to cook calves’ liver at a core temperature of 70oC for two minutes.