Ayrshire new potatoes given special EU protection

Ayrshire new potatoes have become the latest Scottish product to be granted EU protection against unauthorised imitation.

The potatoes, also known as Ayrshiree earlies, join a list of products including Scotch whisky, Stornoway Black Pudding and Scottish salmon, which also have protected geographic indication (PGI) status.

The current system of EU geographical indications ensures only products from a particular region can be badged as such and prevents them from being imitated by others.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is great news for Ayrshire potato growers, particularly given the current uncertainty for the industry being caused by Brexit.

“Scotland has an unrivalled global reputation for quality food and drink produced from our own natural larder. “PGI status not only helps protect the provenance of products like Scotch whisky, Stornoway Black Pudding and Arbroath smokies but also assures consumers at home and abroad that they can trust the product they are buying, and ensures that the right expertise, ingredients and methods of production are being used.

“I’m delighted that Ayrshire Earlies are the latest fine Scottish product to benefit from that protection. “My congratulations to the Girvan Early Growers for making this happen.”

Andrew Young, of Girvan Early Growers, said: “The Ayrshire potato growers are delighted to have achieved PGI status, to protect a product that is over 120 years old.

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