I am glad to say that the Speciality Food Magazine has set me right on this subject. I don't mean they set me right on the notion that UKIP MEPs will whine but on the general pointlessness of MEP behaviour. It seems that some MEPs manage to find themselves
Now, don't get me wrong. I am very happy with the idea of British food being sold in other countries and, indeed, I happen to know that much of it is, from luxury items like good marmalade to meat and dairy produce, such as cheese. Ever more American delis, for instance, stock cheese from the British Isles which they buy through Neal's Yard Dairy. Many of those cheeses are produced by smallish producers and the reason they are bought in this country and abroad is because they are good. That is apparently insufficient: we must have the European Parliament allocating funding to a few chosen producers, usually rather large ones and ensure that small ones are left out and innovation is not encouraged.
Graham Watson, South West Liberal Democrat MEP [well, actually, he has just lost his seat in the general massacre of the Lib-Dims] said, "This new scheme will give Westcountry farmers, fishermen and brewers the opportunity to bring a taste of the South West to the world. I was pleased to see last year an EU-funded trade mission to Japan and South Korea to promote our very own West Country Farmhouse Cheddar.Though Sir Graham Watson is out others will step into his shoes or follow in his footsteps. There are many opportunities there for lobbying and wining and dining our representatives in the Toy Parliament.
"The European Parliament has today ensured that traditional products with European protected status like Cornish pasties will be given extra funding to boost their exports and win over new customers abroad."
The West country products receiving the boost include West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Cornish pasties, Somerset cider brandy, Gloucestershire perry, Cornish clotted cream, Gloucestershire old spot pork and Fal oysters.