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Thousands sign up to save threatened Cromer Crab Company

PUBLISHED: 20:30 08 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:57 08 October 2011

The North Norfolk News 'Claws Off' campaign to keep the Cromer Crab Company open.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The North Norfolk News 'Claws Off' campaign to keep the Cromer Crab Company open. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Nearly 4,000 people have now signed petitions calling for the Cromer Crab Company factory to stay open, protecting 230 jobs.

Over 1,000 more signatures were collected in the town this morning, Saturday, according to Sam Rushworth, spokesman for the Labour Party’s Keep it Cromer campaign.

And a significant step forward has also been taken to give Cromer crabs the same protection as products like champagne and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Mr Rushworth said a week-long media focus on the threatened Holt Road factory, including the North Norfolk News’ own Claws Off campaign, had heightened awareness of the battle and among those signing today were tourists who viewed Cromer crabs as an iconic brand.

Cromer town councillors Tim Bartlett and Kate Royall met today with former member John Morgan who had previously done extensive research on gaining Protected Geographical Indication status (PGI) for the Cromer crab.

PGI status protects the names of regional foods and would mean Cromer crabs could not be processed in Grimsby or Scotland, options being considered by factory owners Young’s Seafood who are currently holding a 90-day consultation which could end in the Cromer site’s closure.

Mr Bartlett said they hoped to sound-out fishermen’s groups in the area between Wells and Lowestoft, where Cromer crabs are caught, in order to create an applicant group which could officially apply for PGI status.

And a government offical from Defra - the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - had offered to visit Cromer later this month to advise interested parties on the application process.

Although it could take up to two years to be fully approved, backers could receive a positive response to their application in the New Year.

Mr Bartlett added that supporters hoped the push for PGI status would be non-political, involving all the town council, plus North Norfolk’s MP and MEP.

* Copies of the petition, which is also available online at www.keepitcromer.co.uk have now been distributed around more than 100 businesses in Cromer

* North Norfolk Radio will broadcast a one-hour special programme on the issue at 1pm on Monday.

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4 comments

  • Why are you not running the very serious story that backers of the Marine Conservation Zone are still pushing for a no take zone off Cromer on their "new" chalk reef. The one that marine scientists and SeasearchEast have just "discovered" and are making great noises about, but Norfolk crab fishermen have been using in a sustainable manner for centuries. The proposals for protection do not include a ban at the moment, but once the marine scientists have seen a research project in front of them and have got the bit between their teeth they will run with it until they manage via the media to convince the powers that be that the reef will suddenly be affected ( now that they know about it of course) Looking after the Marine Environment is important, but the press releases and web sites smack of the same sort of sudden zeal for a project as shown by many other similar organisations.The Cromer fishermen need all the media support they can get to help safeguard their living and keep some balance in all this.

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

  • After years of evolution, we have a new species a crab with a newspaper publication shell. Maybe it will move on sideways to become a policrustacian for the Lib Dems and tap on peoples doors asking for a vote

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    banned user

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Oh yes Bill, but if catching Cromer crabs is banned because of misplaced concerns by environmentalists where will that leave the fishermen? The EDP should also run an item about how much of Youngs produce is sent to the Far East for processing. If their scampi etc was processed in the UK there would not be the excess capacity elsewhere to justify closing the Cromer base.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Daisy.... Do you not deem this a 'very serious story' ?

    Report this comment

    DB

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

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