What’s in a name?

What do Stornoway black pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Scotch Lamb have in common? As well as being high quality, they’ve all achieved EU protected food name status.

Across Scotland, twelve products currently have protected food name status – but Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is calling on more producers to step up to the plate and consider applying for the designation.

At this week’s Royal Highland Show, Scottish Government officials will be on hand to offer advice to food producers interested in joining Scotland’s elite band of producers whose food names are protected.

The EU Protected Food Name schemes – similar to the prestigious ‘appellation controlee’ system used for wine – highlight regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed through an independent inspection system.

Mr Lochhead 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.

“But I believe there’s scope for many more producers to put their products forward for recognition, protecting them from imitation and giving their brand a real boost.

“I hope our push at the Royal Highland Show will give more producers the encouragement they need to get involved in the scheme – ultimately their product stands to be a winner as well as Scotland’s food and drink industry as a whole.”

The Royal Highland Show runs from June 20-23.

There are 12 products which currently have PFN status: Stornoway Black Pudding, Shetland Lamb, Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scottish Wild Salmon, Scotch Lamb, Scotch Beef, Arbroath Smokie, Native Sheltland Wool, Teviotdale Cheese (not in production) and Bonchester Cheese (not in production).

The EU Protected Food Name schemes came into force in 1993 and provide a system for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis. There are three schemes – Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.