Trewithen dairy wants to change the description of the tea time staple to reflect its "evolution" but Rodda's dairy, which has been producing clotted cream for 120 years, also says the new rule would allow the product to be made without its hallmark crust.
Clotted cream was given "Protected Designation of Origin" (PDO) status in 1998 - the same protection as Stilton cheese and Cumberland sausages.
It means the classic British treat can only be made to a traditional recipe in Cornwall with a fat content of at least 55 per cent and a thick golden crust.
However, Trewithen dairy asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to alter the description of clotted cream and the rules that govern how it’s made and labelled.
They say the original PDO listing fails to recognise the "evolution" of clotted cream which is now churned into mass-produced foods such as fudge, ice-cream and custard.
But Managing director Nicholas Rodda said: "The golden crust on Cornish Clotted Cream is a proud hallmark of this gorgeous product, loved and recognised the world over. We are surprised and disappointed that anyone would want to change that.
We want to protect heritage and the authenticity of traditional foods for future generations. Consumers and shoppers rightly expect that when they see Cornish clotted cream on the label of any product that it is made in the traditional way.
The role of a PDO is to protect the traditional foods. Changing it undermines the whole reason for its existence".
But Bill Clarke, managing director of Lostwithiel-based Trewithen Dairy, said the original PDO was outdated and vague: "The PDO is currently ambiguous. It’s a very common problem - there are a lot of PDO descriptions that need to be changed. It’s important that PDOs are correct so that Trading Standards can genuinely audit the product".
Rodda’s, the undisputed giant in the clotted cream world, produces up to 25 tons of clotted cream a day. The family-run business took off in the 1920s when Willie Rodda was sent to London at the age of 18, with the message: "I have got a piece of Cornwall here and want to share it with you. Would you like to try some?"
This unusual sales technique won Rodda’s contracts with the likes of Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, and provided the first wave of expansion outside of Cornwall.
- Tags: Britain’s dairies recipe_clotted_cream Rodda's dairy hallmark crust Protected Designation of Origin PDO Stilton cheese Cumberland sausages Cornwall Trewithen dairy Department for Environment_Food and Rural Affairs Managing_director_Nicholas_Rodda Cornish Clotted Cream Bill_Clarke_managing_director_Trewithen_Dairy Willie Rodda London Harrods Fortnum and Mason