Smokies to remain one of a kind

Arbroath Smokies.
Arbroath Smokies.

Arbroath Smokie lovers can breathe a sigh of relief following Holyrood’s announcement that it believes there is no risk to the beloved dish.

Following our front page story on September 18, about the possible impact of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) on celebrated foodstuffs such as the Smokie, Angus South MSP Graeme Dey looked into the matter.

He raised the issue with Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, who wrote back to Mr Dey to inform him that as far as the Scottish Government understood it Canadians would not be able to sell imitation smokies in the EU.

In his reply Mr Lochhead said: “I understand that the status of Protected Food Names will remain as they stand within the EU and that Protected Food Names such as Arbroath Smokie will continue to be respected across all member states. It will not be possible for Canadian companies to sell imitations within the EU. Nonetheless, on September 18 I wrote to Liz Truss, the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to seek a categorical assurance that this is the case.

“I have also asked for an explanation of why the UK Government does not appear to have proposed any Protected Food names to the EU for inclusion in CETA, to give producers the same protection in Canada as they have across the EU.”

Mr Dey commented: “Richard Lochhead’s letter offers reassurance but I look forward to the UK Government confirming that they share his understanding of the matter.

“Any threat to the status of the Smokie would be a matter of concern.”