By Rory Reynolds
SCOTLAND’S humble Lorne sausage could soon be placed alongside luxury goods such as champagne and cognac, if an attempt to place the foodstuff on a prestigious EU goods list is successful.
Scots butchers are teaming up to ensure that the nation’s famous square sausage is added to a list of regional foods protected by the European Commission.
Figures in the industry have highlighted how small states like Portugal have 10 times the number of protected foods that Scotland has, and that butchers could lose business to rivals or even “imposters”.
Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb, and Arbroath Smokies are already protected by EU laws, next to goods like Parma ham, Port and Madeira.
Douglas Scott, head of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association, said that it was time that Scotland ensured the future of its meaty snack.He said: “I was running the judging for a national butchery competition and just thought what would have happened if we had Lorne sausage entries from butchers outwith Scotland, and then gave them a diamond or gold award for it?
“It just hammered home to me this is a genuine Scottish food.
“We’re not wanting imposters to imitate the real thing.
“There’s tonnes of Lorne sausage sold across Scotland every week and for many butchers, particularly in the west, it’s a huge part of business.”
The sausage was named after 1920s Glasgow comedian Tommy Lorne, who preferred the square shape as if could fit on his sandwich better, and has been particularly popular in the west of Scotland ever since.
Andrew Paxton of Aberdeen supplier Laidlaws, said that he has some customers who order the sausage from England – including one who is scheduled to have it shipped south for Christmas Day.
He said: “It’s high time we were doing more to protect our traditional products.”
Laurent Vernet of Quality Meat Scotland agreed that it is crucial to protect Scotland’s products.
He said: “Compare Scotland’s even protected food products with Portugal, which has twice the population of Scotland but more than 10 times the number of protected foods.
“With changes in EU labelling coming into effect the Protected Geographic Indicator label is going to increase in its importance as a sign of national food identity.”
A bid to add Stornoway black pudding to the PGI list is already progressing through the European Commission.