Keep Scotland the Brand
What is food provenance? Why is it important? Meet the campaign to protect Scotland’s food and drink industry.
Some of you may have heard of Keep Scotland the Brand, the campaign to protect Scotland’s food provenance. What’s food provenance? Food provenance is knowing where your food has come from and knowing how it was produced and transported, from farm to fork.
Some of you may have already seen our Keep Scotland the Brand video. For those of you who haven’t, you’re *really* missing out.
For those of you who prefer to read, we’ll be going over what Keep Scotland the Brand is, why it’s important, and how the campaign has progressed since we made the above video.
We know Scottish produce is renowned worldwide. We produce good stuff whether that be our seafood, beef, strawberries, and if you’ve ever had a coffee in Inverness, you’ll understand why even our tap water gets talked about.
Keep Scotland the Brand is focused on ensuring food producers across Scotland are recognised for their work. At a base level, a supermarket branding strawberries as ‘British strawberries’ when they are produced in Kincardineshire is not recognising the work that’s went in to food production. This can have an adverse effect on sales which then impacts the farmer who has produced them.
Now, before this sounds like some mental Scottish nationalist boycott, let’s make it clear that it absolutely isn’t. This has an impact on food producers across the UK as well. What would a Cornish pasty be if you removed the Cornish part of it? It’s important that food producers are recognised for their work because that plays a large part in their marketing especially when they take their produce internationally.
Scotch whisky is a good example of this. Restaurants and bars across the world purchase crates of Scotch whisky because they know the quality and they’ll know the exact distillery it comes from. It’s essentially a ‘trust-mark’, and that’s something that boosts trade. Scotch whisky alone makes up 20% of the UK’s entire food and drink exports.
To make our YouTube video above we were lucky enough to have a chat with Ruth Watson, founder of Keep Scotland the Brand, she has been dashing about all over Scotland and rallying local campaigners as well as chatting to farmers. She even took the campaign to Westminster and gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs committee.
During the committee Ruth raised the importance of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status which ensures that only products within a geographical boundary can be named such as Shetland Beef or Orkney Cheddar. PGI is something that the British government may have to concede to establish a trade deal after Brexit. This can lead to a dilution of quality in the market as Bandito Bill’s ‘Orkney’ Cheddar squeezy cheese in a can, leaving genuine Orkney Cheddar manufacturers with no legal platform to retaliate from.
Protecting Scotland’s brand identity has never been more important, whether it’s just being aware of the facts or getting involved in the campaign itself. Check it out here.