Martin Parr's Brexit buffet

The Magnum photographer photographs the food under threat from the UK's impending EU exit
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Stilton Cheese by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum
Stilton Cheese by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum

OK. Here's a brief overview of EU trade law to help you understand the following story. No! come back, we'll make it brief. The European Union’s protected designation of origin scheme is the part of the EU’s legal framework that prevents any wine producers outside of France’s Champagne region from labelling their sparkling wine Champagne, or any cheese makers beyond the correct Northern Italian region from calling their cheese wheels Parmigiano-Reggiano. Lesson over.

 

Gloucestershire Old Spot pork by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum
Gloucestershire Old Spot pork by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum

There are plenty of British foodstuffs protected by the EU’s PDO scheme, from beer to meat to cheese and Martin Parr, the Magnum Photos President, and the man behind our Raw Food book, has been documenting some of them and the workers who produce them, in the aftermath of Britain’s Brexit vote.

 

A Gloucestershire butcher holds a side of Gloucestershire Old Spot pork by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum
A Gloucestershire butcher holds a side of Gloucestershire Old Spot pork by Martin Parr. Martin Parr / Magnum

As with a lot of things around Brexit, it’s unclear whether Britain's current laws wouldn’t protect some of the regional specificity of the country’s finer regional foodstuffs, or whether the country’s new installed government might put new laws in place of the EU’s regulations, which will no longer be in force once the UK leaves the union. However, Martin Parr’s insightful new photo story shows how one way in which Brexit might take a big bite out of Britain’s rural economy.

To see more of Martin Parr's food photoraphy buy a copy of Martin Parr: Real Food here.


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