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Fears Brexit could spell disaster for smokies, bridies and Dundee cake

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The UK Government has been urged to offer Courier Country foods the same gold-standard protection they expect from the EU.

The producers of Dundee Cake and Forfar Bridies have applied for EU safeguards to outlaw the sale of inauthentic wares.

The UK Protected Food Names Association, which represents 73 members and £1 billion of annual revenue, is hopeful a home-grown system will follow the UK’s exit from the EU.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has said it is “intent” on Scotland retaining EU status.

Arbroath Smokies are already shielded by the Protected Geographical Indication scheme, and a key figure in that campaign has said PGI status “must now be in danger”.

Town councillor Bob Spink called on the UK Government to make good on Environment Minister Liz Trussell’s comments that she would seek a British version to protect marque foods.

He said: “Surely a similar scheme could be initiated by the government to afford protection to named products.

“Whether or not we are in the EU does not affect the quality of our products.

“Good quality and genuine originality will endure, and the benefits arising are not only for the producer but for the general public, be it here or in the wider market.”

Ian Spink, of widely-known Smokie producers Ian R Spink, said: “So long as the tool is there to protect us, to prosecute fakes and frauds, that’s the main thing.

“I remember before we started 12 years ago, there were more Arbroath Smokies made south of the border than here.

“The problem is, the quality’s never as good as the real thing.

“And the benefit of protection is not just for the producer, it’s for the consumer.

“It gives them peace of mind.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said Ministers have “emphasised” that Scotland is still in the EU during discussions on the issue.

“Trade and business should continue as normal and we are determined that Scotland will continue now and in the future to be an attractive and a stable place to do business,” he added.

“Discussions with the Dundee Cake Producer Group concerning their application for Protected Food Name Status are ongoing.”

A spokesman for Angus Council said the implications of the EU referendum “are still to be realised”, adding: “Right now we remain committed to spreading the word about the quality food produce that Angus has to offer to a global audience.

“As a part of that, we are happy to progress with our application for the Forfar Bridie to be awarded protected status by the EU.”

Matthew O’Callaghan, who leads the UK Protected Food Names Association, previously said producers are “very concerned” as uncertainties around the Brexit vote continue.

He said: “If the legislation disappeared I think we would get imitations, we would get cheaper products, and they would lose their links with their places of origin.”

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