Cheese firms bid to protect names
Two Scottish cheese companies are bidding to have their names protected to prevent copycat imposters profiting from their brand.
Orkney Island Cheddar and Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop have applied for Protected Food Name (PFN) status which gives legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.
If approved they would join the likes of Arbroath Smokies, Orkney Beef and Lamb and Scottish Farmed Salmon which are already PFNs.
Environment Minister Richard Lochhead said that Scottish companies were losing out on lucrative overseas markets due to cheap copycat brands trading on their reputation for quality. He urged businesses to consider applying for PFN status.
He said: "Numerous products from different countries use Scotland's good name to sell their wares, including smoked salmon and oats.
"Rather than allowing others to trade on our reputation with inferior quality produce we should be grasping these opportunities for ourselves and knocking the copycats off the shelves.
"While we support industry and continue to promote Scotland's quality reputation, we are also determined to safeguard our produce at home.
"Gaining PFN status is one way of ensuring consumers know they are buying the genuine article and by adding another two fantastic products to that growing list will help safeguard our reputation for premier produce."
Orkney Island Cheddar is made using milk from the Orkney Isles, following a traditional recipe and process.
Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop is made from the milk of Ayrshire cows and produced in an area around the traditional parish of Dunlop.