EU status call for Devon cream teas
Published 20/05/2010 | 18:21
A dairy farmer fed up with imitation "Devon cream teas" being offered far beyond the West Country has launched a campaign to get European protection for the name.
Paul Winterton, general manager at Langage Farm in Plymouth, said he was weary of seeing inferior versions of the much-loved scones with clotted cream and jam being served in tea shops.
While they appear on menus as "Devon cream teas", many are "sub-standard" or appear to have little connection with his home county, he said.
In response to reports of "cake-like scones" and "cream from a can", he set out on a quest to protect the popular tea-time treat with a Protected Designation Of Origin from the EU, meaning only cream teas produced, processed or prepared in Devon can boast the title.
But in doing so, he unwittingly reignited a simmering feud with Cornwall over where the cream tea really comes from.
The 45-year-old, who has lived in Devon for 25 years with his wife and three children, said: "It is a travesty - I have gone to different places abroad and have personally seen cream teas with spray cream and it sends a shiver down my spine. People are not getting the real deal - they are being short-changed. They want to know what they are eating and they need to know the origin of what is on their plates."
More than 500 people have now signed a petition in support of his campaign, which was launched at the Devon County Show in Exeter.
Mr Winterton hopes to meet officials from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within the next fortnight to press ahead with his plans. He then aims to take his request to the EU.
Should the campaign succeed, the protected status could help the Devon farming community while creating more jobs for the local economy, Mr Winterton added.
But his efforts were questioned by Mike Pearce of Cornishcream.com, who insisted the cream tea was more of a Cornish treat.