Scottish dairy gets EU recognition
Brand protection for Ayrshire cheese
Food Secretary Richard Lochhead the cheese, distinctive for its nutty flavour and unique production methods, will be awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under the EU Protected Food Names (PFN) scheme.
The distinction means that consumers are guaranteed they are buying the genuine, premium product, which can now only be made in the area around Dunlop, with milk from Ayshire cows, using the same traditional methods.
The announcement brings Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese into the same category of protection as Orkney Island Cheddar. Other popular Scottish products already awarded this status include Stornoway Black Pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Scotch Beef.
Mr Lochhead said: “Protected status lets consumers know they’re buying the genuine article. It is great news that we now have 14 Scottish products benefiting from that and I hope more will follow.
“This is an important boost for the Scottish dairy sector ahead of a parliamentary debate that will be held about the industry on Tuesday.”
He said the government is launching a Scottish dairy brand that will make it easier to identify dairy products made in Scotland.
“This is particularly welcome timing, as the Year of Food and Drink is a great opportunity to promote Scotland’s fantastic natural larder,” he said.
Ann Dorward, who produces Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese at West Clerkland Farm in Stewarton, said: “I am delighted that Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop is going to receive PGI status. We have been working towards this for almost two years and it’s wonderful to hear that we will be officially recognised.
“Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop differs from others Dunlop cheeses due to the traditional production method, the rich creamy milk from Ayrshire cows, the weather in this part of the country, and the techniques and craftsmanship that can be traced back to the 17th century.”
Other Scottish products with PGI status are:
Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Stornoway Black Pudding, Shetland Lamb, Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scottish Wild Salmon, Scotch Lamb, Scotch Beef, Arbroath Smokie, Native Shetland Wool, Teviotdale Cheese (not in production) and Bonchester Cheese (not in production).