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Scottish food producers seeking European protection

Scottish food producers seeking European protection

The Scottish government is encouraging its country's food producers to step up their efforts to achieve protected food name status from the European Union (EU).

The EU Protected Food Name scheme was first introduced in 1993 and came into force to provide a safeguard for foods known for coming from a certain area or made from a traditional recipe.

It aims to offer assurance to the consumer that the product they are purchasing has a certain level of authenticity and that its origin can be guaranteed, with imitations of that item being made illegal throughout the EU.

In Scotland there are already a total of 12 products that have been given protection, including Stornoway black pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Scotch Lamb.

But rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead has now claimed that more producers across the country should follow suit.

He said: "Scotland has one of the world's finest natural larders and our fine produce is the envy of many nations around the world.

"In recent weeks, we have seen the Stornoway black pudding become the latest Scottish product to secure EU protected food name status and applications for Ayrshire Dunlop cheese and Orkney Island Cheddar are in the pipeline."

Mr Lochhead will be on hand with a number of other government officials at the upcoming Royal Highland Show, which is running from June 20th-23rd, to give advice to food producers interested in making the step to achieving EU status.

He said that he hoped the event would offer the level of encouragement groups in the industry need in order to get involved in the scheme, and give their products a level of status previously unreached.

Mr Lochhead added that the effects would also be beneficial to the Scottish food industry as a whole

Other examples of protected foods across the UK include Cornish pasties, Cumberland sausages, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Welsh lamb.

One of the most significant producers to have made a recent bid has been the Cambridgeshire village of Stilton, which claims to have been making Stilton cheese since 1722.


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