MPs launch campaign to protect Dorset Knobs

A GROUP of MPs are calling for Dorset’s famous ‘button’ to be given protected status.

Protected status emphasizes the relationship between a geographic region and a particular product: seeking to preserve the quality and reputation of the product and preventing the sale of inferior imitations.

The cracker is produced by Moores Biscuits in Bridport. The family business bakes in Dorset and currently operates just five miles from the original bakery site.

MPs from the Parliamentary Group on Geographically Produced Foods (APPG) argue that after leaving the European Union, more of Britain’s best regional foods should be given the status.

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Alicia Kearns, President of the APPG, said: ‘As an MP with three GIs in my constituency, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, Rutland Bitter and Stilton Cheese, I have seen first hand the extraordinary effort, care and even the love that goes into making some of the UK’s finest products.

“We have a unique opportunity to redefine our food and beverage policy, promote our local industries, support the best of our culinary heritage and create more well-paying jobs in agriculture, food manufacturing and beverages sectors.

In a 30-page report, the APPG said that “too often Britain’s food and drink and culture are downplayed” and that granting protected status to regional products would help to “raise the profile of British food and drink”.

The group of MPs issued 38 recommendations to the government to “fully exploit the enormous food and drink potential available to our local communities”.

The iconic Dorset button was produced before the 1860s, when butter and sugar were added to leftover dough and rolled into small buttons: they were then baked in the dying heat of bread to dry them out like rusks.

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Dorset Knobs has become so popular that earlier this year Prince of Wales School announced they would be adding button throwing to the curriculum.

Headmaster Gary Spracklen said: ‘The Dorset button biscuit is part of our local cultural heritage.

The cookie was celebrated in the famous button throwing contest. The event last took place in 2019 but was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. It was later scrapped this year as organizers said it had become too big to be run by a village committee.

Dorset’s button throwing competition has been canceled every year since 2019, with the committee saying this year it was simply too big to be organized by the village group: with over 8,000 people in attendance in 2019.

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