The Aims of the Cornish Pasty Association
The Cornish Pasty Association was formed in 2002 by a group of more than 50 pasty makers based in Cornwall. The Association exists to protect the quality and the reputation of the Cornish pasty and to stop consumers being misled by pasty makers who trade off the value of the name without producing a genuine product. Elaine Ead from The Chough Bakery is the current chair person.
The production of Cornish pasties makes a significant contribution to the Cornish Economy. Cornwall’s pasty producers are important providers of year-round employment. The CPA members employ over 1,800 permanent staff and it is estimated that some 13,000 people are directly and indirectly benefitting from the trade.
Unfortunately, many pasties currently sold are labelled as Cornish pasties but they are made outside of Cornwall, without following a traditional recipe or baking manner and are inferior in both quality and taste. This affects the reputation of the genuine Cornish pasties and causes confusion with consumers willing to pay a premium price for a genuine article.
It is believed locally that protection of the Cornish pasty is necessary in order to safeguard the heritage of the Cornish pasty, the future of the industry and the reputation of the product. For these reasons the Association submitted an application to DEFRA in order to obtain Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the ‘Cornish Pasty’.
In 2011 it was announced that the Cornish pasty received PGI status which means it enjoys the same status that has been granted to Champagne, Parma Ham, Stilton Cheese, Arbroath Smokies, Cornish Clotted Cream, Smoked Salmon and many other regional produce. This means that only pasty makers based in Cornwall who make pasties to a traditional manner and follow a traditional recipe are able to label their products as Cornish pasties. The application has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union which means a legal confirmation of the protection of the Cornish pasty.