Made in Scotland: protecting Scotland’s brand

Scotland’s food and drink sector is vitally important to our economy – the industry is worth £14.4 billion and supports 119,000 jobs across the country.

Under the SNP, food and drink has become one of the biggest contributors to the Scottish economy.

Whether it’s our top quality Scotch Beef or the unique taste of Scotch Whisky – Scotland’s food and drink is enjoyed by people around the globe.

Annually, we export £6 billion worth of food and drink, with the rest of the EU buying 40 per cent of our produce, made possible by the free trade offered through Single Market membership.

Through its Protected Food Name status, the EU has helped us protect Scotland the brand.

Losing our place in the European Single Market and the Customs Union means potentially losing the right and ability to market Scottish produce as Scottish.

EU Protected Food Name status ensures that the reputation of world famous produce like Scotch whisky, Arbroath smokies, Stornoway black pudding and Scotch beef is protected. This means that it is illegal to imitate some of our best food and drink. Not only does this protect the prestige of a product but on average it’s estimated to more than double its value.

If the Tories’ price for a trade deal with the United States is dropping Protected Geographical Indicators or accepting chlorinated chicken imports, the Scottish Parliament could have no say at all.

The Scottish Government has an ambitious plan to export more and to open up to new markets.

We have established a new Trade Board, drawing on the best business expertise. We will also set up a new network of trade envoys – asking prominent and successful Scottish entrepreneurs to help boost national export efforts.

We also are working to double the number of people working for Scottish Development International across Europe and have established Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Brussels, Dublin and Berlin.

As our food and drink exports now reach record levels, it has never been more important to protect our worldwide reputation as a producer of excellence in food and drink.