The protected status of Scottish speciality foods is under threat from Brexit, Deidre Brock MP has revealed.
Geographical specialities from across the country, from Scottish salmon to the Stornoway Black Pudding or the Arbroath Smokie, will no longer be part of the EU Protected Food Name Scheme which has helped promote our food industry.
In response to a written question from Deidre, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice MP said that the EU Protected Food Name Scheme was 'a matter for negotiations' and the government is 'considering options'.
Ms Brock said
"Now we get down to the nitty-gritty of the Brexit negotiations we see that even our food heritage is under threat, and the Tories don't have a plan to protect it.
"Scotland's food and drinks industry has been booming with Scottish Government support, backed up by EU level protections. Exports have more than doubled since the SNP came to power.
"We cannot sit back and allow this floundering Tory Government to damage a healthy Scottish industry. We need the Scottish Government to be at the negotiating table fighting for our food and drinks industry - and fighting to keep us in the single market, as most Scottish businesses and the people of Scotland want us to be."
Full text of question and response
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ensure that (a) Ayrshire Earlies, (b) Forfar Bridies, (c) Ayrshire Dunlop, (d) Orkney Cheddar, (e) Stornoway black pudding, (f) Scottish wild salmon, (g) Scottish farmed salmon, (h) native Shetland wool, (i) Scottish lamb, (j) Scottish beef, (k) Arbroath smokies, (l) Teviotdale cheese. (m) Shetland lamb, (n) Orkney beef and (o) Orkney lamb continue to be protected by either (i) Protected Designation of Origin, (ii) Protected Geographical Indication and (iii) Traditional Speciality Guaranteed provisions after the UK leaves the EU.
Answered by: George Eustice
The EU Protected Food Name scheme has helped to promote heritage food products and speciality recipes including many from Scotland. Ayrshire Earlies and Forfar Bridies are currently applying for protection.
The government is considering options that would allow us to protect UK designations after we leave the EU.
The scheme is also very important to a number of other EU countries who will want the UK to agree to recognise their protected food names in the UK market after we leave the EU. This will be a matter for negotiations.
photo of Arbroath smokies by John McMillan, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12574189