David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

An opportunity has been missed

Letters, The Herald, 15 September 2015

Dear Editor,

I WRITE in response to your article on the threat to the protected status of some of our renowned global food brands (“Protected food brands endangered by Canadian trade deal blunder”, The Herald, September 11).

The failure of the UK and Scottish governments to extend protected status for Scottish food and drink is a missed opportunity, rather than a failure.

Geographical indicators offering legal protection on traditional products such as Stornoway black pudding and Arbroath smokies remain valid inside the EU, with or without the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA).

CETA cannot undermine traditional Scottish products in Europe, however it could offer an opportunity for these protections to be extended to Canada.

For all the hot air from the UK and Scottish governments about defending the national interests, it appears neither bothered to push for many Scottish or UK products to be included on the protected list.

Thankfully more products can be added in the future, but will either government explain why it let this opportunity slide, given the enormous potential for the quality Scottish food and drink industry in the Canadian market?

David Martin,
Labour MEP for Scotland,
Unit 43, Midlothian Innovation Centre, Pentlandfield, Roslin, Midlothian.


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