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POLL: Should Cromer crab be a protected brand?

09:52 09 August 2012

Dressing a Cromer crab. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Dressing a Cromer crab. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

A fisheries action group in north Norfolk is urging people in the industry to help with the first ever bid to protect Cromer crab’s iconic name.

What’s in a name?

A number of food and drink products in the UK have been granted protected status under European Union law, legislation designed to protect regional foods. It came into force in 1992. Some examples include Newcastle Brown Ale, Champagne, Cornish Pasty, Traditional Cumberland Sausage, Melton Mowbray pork pie, Stilton, Cornish Clotted Cream, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Gloucestershire Old Spots and Jersey Royal potatoes.

A move to protect the name of the iconic Cromer crab is being launched - but only if it gets the backing of the time-honoured local fishing industry.

A series of consultation meetings take place next week seeking the views of fishermen and processors about whether to try to give the brand the same protection as the Cornish pasty, Melton Mowray pork pie, Stilton cheese and champagne.

It would mean only genuine local Cromer crab could carry the name.

But one of the early big questions is to establish what exactly is a Cromer crab.

And fishermen have already flagged up concerns that the paperwork that goes with the exercise could be more trouble than it is worth.

The North Norfolk Fisheries Local Action Group (Flag) is behind the series of consultation events for people from the fishing and processing industries including sessions at Sheringham’s Dunstable Arms on Tuesday from 5-8pm, Cromer’s Merchants Place on Wednesday from 6-9pm - carnival evening - and Mundesley Haig Club on Thursday from 7-10pm.

Officials will provide facts, the pros and cons of branding and seek votes which will decide if the move is progressed.

People can also get voting slips from their local fishing association secretary.

The brand initiative is part of a larger £2m project to help sustain the local fishery’s future through European Union funding. The overall scheme is also promoting projects such as fishery-related visitor centre, training school, and marketing.

The move comes soon after the town’s Cromer Crab Factory ceased production, and is now awaiting final decommissioning and sale. But backers of the brand bid say the two are not related.

Flag group chairman John Williams said: “We need to find out what all the fishermen and related people feel about it and about what it means.”

There would be two sides to the coin but benefits of the process would include publicity for the product, added value and accreditation of the fishing industry in Norfolk.

He was fearful however that it would “add another layer of bureaucracy” and ultimately mean more work for local fishermen.

“We will take feedback from the consultation a decide whether or not to go ahead with it.

“It’s achievable but we are trying to establish whether it is desirable.”

Lifelong crab fisherman and North Norfolk District Council cabinet member John Lee feared that the bid may cause more paperwork. The council was also in talks with crab factory owners Youngs over the Cromer Crab brand name it used.

“I’m not sure if we will gain anything from EU protective status. If we are going to push for it then it has to bring benefits with it.”

For more information about the consultations visit the website at www.northnorfolkflag.org or telephone 01263 510709.

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12 comments

  • If it is ever to work, the term Cromer Crab would have to apply to any crab caught on the North Norfolk Coast regardless of where it is landed or processed.

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Betty;Edible crabs are common around our coasts but the size & taste varies depending on the region they are caught in. Cromer is famous for the flavour of the crabs caught here and alliteration's artful aids obviously helps by providing a resonant ready made brand!

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    Paul Radbourne

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Will vendors really want to sells crabs as 'Cromer crabs' if they are not as such? Surely people will prefer local goods. If on holiday in Cornwall, I would want a Cornish crab, not a Cromer crab. The only 'Cromer crabs' I've seen in non-local shops are genuine. E.g. in supermarkets as prepared by the Cromer Crab Company. I don't see the need to protect the name at all. If anything it may damage the local industry when other producers try to prove that non-Cromer crabs are actually superior.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

  • the council should simply do a deal to get the cromer crab name off youngs instead of going down the protective status route

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • As already suggested a Cromer crab comes from Cromer and if it doesn't then the seller is potentially in trouble if he suggests it does. The burden of proof that will follow the doubt over a crabs origin will prove too much and too expensive and the spiv will usually get away with it. Just let it go,save time and money and be happy that just about every Cromer crab met its end there. Many a crab buyer may not even know Cromer is a place (not a plaice) but understand it to be a breed or prepartion term. We can all be too parochial and from where we sit assume everybody knows about us. Let's have a nationwide quiz to find out who knows why things have certain names.

    Report this comment

    sensibletrousers

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • A bit of lateral thinking needed here.....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

  • If a crab sends gifts at Christmas time, is it Santa Claws?

    Report this comment

    LittleEnoch

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

  • Is Cormer the only place in North Norfolk where Cromer crabs are landed? If not, would those from other local locations be prevented from using the title.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • I'm all for supporting local industry, I really am. But Cromer Crabs are not a regional recipe, they are what they are, a north sea brown crab. It is only the human propensity for word alliteration that has placed the phrase 'Cromer Crab' in our minds for any crabs caught from Norfolk's Shores. A 'Norfolk Crab' sounds less appealing! So basically, unless it is caught and landed at Cromer itself it cannot be a Cromer Crab anyway. That is the point that needs to be made.

    Report this comment

    Pete Bogg

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • you always know a cromer crab when you open it it has made in cromer inside

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

  • YES. Protect the name. I've seen "Cromer" crabs for sale all over the country. What they actually mean is "Dressed" crabs...

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

  • How an earth can you protect the name of what is essentially a completely natural product? I can understand protecting products such as Melton Mobray pork pies or stilton cheese as these are traditional products manufactured in a certain way in a particular area but an edible crab is pretty much the same wherever it is caught.

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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