Today, at the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg, Labour MEPs voted for a report supporting a campaign to extend geographical protection to authentic, original non-agricultural products.
‘GI’ - or Geographical Indication is the protection presently provided for agricultural products that authenticate the location they come from and that they have been produced according to strict traditional methods.
Labour MEPs believe this EU-wide protection should be extended to non-agricultural goods. This would support local economic development, boost tourism, strengthen consumer confidence and help preserve cultural heritage and traditional know-how.
Welcoming today’s vote, senior Scottish MEP David Martin said:
"The campaign to extend GI protection to non-agricultural products will make it harder for factories half way round the world to trade on the value and reputation of great Scottish products like Scottish tartan and Harris Tweed. I want to see these products being able to apply for the same geographical protection as Stornoway Black Pudding and Arbroath Smokies.
“The European system for GIs on agricultural products has brought tangible benefits for Scottish producers and a quality guarantee for consumers.
“These are measures where the strength of the EU can give robust protection for authentic and traditional Scottish products abroad, boost production and protect Scottish jobs.
“It would also enable the EU to enjoy the same protection for such products outside the EU in the framework of international trade negotiations.
“It is now for the European Commission to take up the case, and I hope it will make the proposals soon.”