Ayrshire potatoes granted EU protected status
Ayrshire potatoes have been granted special status under EU rules to protect them from imitation.
The potatoes join a list of Scottish products including Stornoway Black Pudding, Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon which also enjoy protected geographic indication (PGI) status.
Only products from particular regions may be badged as such under the system, in order to prevent fakes.
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.
“It is good to be recognised the same way as so many other high quality food and drink items are, and we hope that it will help to secure the future of potato growing in Ayrshire by assuring customers they are buying a genuine article with provenance, quality and flavour.”