Alistair Carmichael, MP for the Northern Isles, has again sought assurances from the Government that protected designations of Origin (PDOs), a system for guaranteeing that the product you are buying is from the place named in that product, are maintained post-Brexit. In the UK, PDOs cover many things like, Scotch Whisky, Stilton Cheese, Scotch Beef, and many other things. The framework for these PDOs is EU based, and when the UK ceases to be a member of the EU, PDOs will cease to be a legally guaranteed designation in the UK.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Carmichael asked:
“What progress is being made in ensuring that Scotland’s food producers will still have the protection they need for important geographic brands such as Orkney Beef or Shetland Lamb, after we have left the European Union?”
Answering on behalf of the Government the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, replied:
“I can assure the Rt. Hon. Gentleman that, despite scare stories that have appeared in some parts of the media, there will be no change to the protection of these brands on the allowing in of false brands purporting to be them.”
Speaking after the exchange, Mr. Carmichael said:
“Protected Designations for important geographical brands are a guarantee for consumers that when they are buying Orkney Beef, Shetland Lamb, and European products like Camembert and Champagne, they really are getting what they want.
“For farmers and distillers who have these protections, they prevent cheap knock off versions of their goods damaging a hard won reputation for quality. They are an important part of our Food and Drink industry, and I welcome the reassurance from the Minister that they will be maintained post-Brexit.
“PDOs are a protection that it is all too easy to overlook, or take for granted, so it is right that the Minister ensures these safeguards will continue to play a central role in our food and drinks industry post-Brexit.”