News

Lack of Clarity about Protected Named Status for Iconic Orkney Products

Protected Designation of OriginThe lack of information coming from the UK Government about what is to happen to the Protected Named status for products is causing concern. This would affect Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar Cheese, Highland Park , Scapa whisky and Scottish Farmed Salmon.

Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary  in the Scottish Government has written to UK ministers Michael Gove, David Davis and Liam Fox to clarifying what will happen once the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019.

There are 86 UK goods with protected named status which includes the likes of Cornish Pasties and Stilton Blue Cheese.

In Scotland the following products are protected:

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese (PGI) Scottish Farmed Salmon (PGI)
Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar (PGI) Scotch Lamb (PGI)
Stornoway Black Pudding (PGI) Scotch Beef (PGI)
Scottish Wild Salmon (PGI) Arbroath Smokie (PGI)
Shetland Lamb (PDO) Native Shetland Wool (PDO)
Orkney Beef (PDO) Teviotdale Cheese (currently not in production) (PGI)
Orkney Lamb (PDO) Bonchester Cheese (currently not in production) (PDO)

Scottish Whisky is also protected as geographical location – named as Scotch Whisky.

Protected named status is a sign of quality and no one else can label their products as Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb or Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar whilst they have this designation. If there is no protected named status then there is the potential for other places to market products using these names.

In his letter Fergus Ewing said:

Fergus Ewing“the recent evidence provided by Mr Gove at the Rural Economy Committee of the Scottish Parliament and reference to “forms of protection” rather than confirming a GI system has only added to this lack of clarity on the issue.

“The time is right for us to see some concrete assurances from the UK Government that not only do you consider GIs and protection of our world-renowned produce of great importance and will seek to continue the protection offered by holding the status, but that the UK Government will give them their rightful place at the forefront of future trade negotiations.

“As you are more than aware, we have been critical of the failure by the UK Government to put forward any UK GIs for inclusion in the CETA deal with Canada and a lack of consultation around other deals such as Mercosur and Mexico. We are sure you will easily understand the Scottish Government’s, and many of our stakeholders’, concern in the current climate that the UK Government simply does not recognise the importance of GI status for business. Coupled with the absence of any reference whatsoever to food and drink from your recent statement on trade collaboration with Hong Kong, it gives the impression that your Government cares little for this sector.

“We therefore urge you and your Government to set the record straight and commit to not only guaranteeing continued protection for current holders of GI status, but also providing the assurance being desperately sought by stakeholders that protection for our iconic products will be integral to future trade deals.”

Consumer’s know that when they buy Orkney products with the protected named status  label that they are purchasing quality and will pay that little bit extra because of the care that has gone into the production of the food. If anyone can label their products using the Orkney labels then the quality assurance is gone and with it the price that will be paid.

Reporter Fiona Grahame


 

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