Will ‘Smokies’ lose their unique title?

Arbroath Smokies
Arbroath Smokies

It’s all in a name and the Arbroath Smokies’ proud title could be under threat following a controversial free trade deal between the United States and the European Union.

Currently enjoying protected status with other local famous delicacies such as Stornoway black pudding, Aberdeen Angus beef and Cornish pasties may be open to American imitation products if the negotiations between the US and EU to bring down trade barriers, are successful.

Under EU law, protected regional specialities, such as the Arbroath Smokie, can only be sold under their traditional names if they were actually made in the region.

Around 60 British products are on the EU’s protected status list of 1,100 foods, alongside European favourites Parmesan cheese, Prosciutto and Black Forest hams.

Germany’s agriculture minister says the EU wouldn’t have the power to uphold legislation protecting regional food specialities under the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

American trade representative Michael Froman has been reported to raised concerns over keeping the stringent protection status afforded to regional produce.

Trade unionists and campaigners opposed to TTIP warn the trade agreement could undermine UK food safety standards and regulations, paving the way for British shops to stock sub-standard and genetically modified US produce.

A Government spokesperson denies the talks will cause a problem for protected food and drink products: “TTIP will provide a valuable opportunity for the UK food and drink industries to promote their products in the US market worth millions to our economy.

“We want to ensure the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) promotes and opens markets for high quality British produce.”