Keep Scotland the Brand is a positive, inclusive campaign. You can speak out in support of Scotland’s farmers, fishermen, distillers, Scotland’s producers, Scotland’s economy: people who have worked successfully for decades to build up Scotland’s reputation as a quality brand which can be trusted.
Please contact supermarkets, retailers, and manufacturers asking them to support Scotland’s brand identity and not to hide the source of our goods under a homogeneous ‘British’ label and flag. Clear provenance does not require flag-waving, it requires prominent labeling.
Why does it matter?
Scotland’s farmers grow 80% of the seed potatoes exported from the UK. Farmers around the world specifically choose our produce. Scotland’s soil and the diligent work of farmers and Scottish scientists combine to create a product recognised for its quality across the world. If our potatoes become British, Scotland loses that international reputation, it loses market share, we lose jobs.
The threat of leaving the Single Market and tariff-free trade presents a particular threat to Scotland’s farmers. Seed potato exports to Morocco, for example, would be hit with tariffs of 40%. The reality is, no matter how excellent Scotland’s seed potatoes are, a 40% rise in costs will mean our exports are no longer competitive.
The Scottish Select Committee heard evidence about this from Scotland’s farming, food and drink leaders. The cross-party group of MPs were told loss of Single Market access would be a ‘nightmare scenario’, ‘catastrophic’, and ‘game over’.
When asked about DEFRA’s ‘Great’ campaign – the reason why union flags are to be found on our food and drink, with local provenance disappearing under the blanket ‘British’ label – James Withers, CEO of Scotland Food and Drink, told the committee it ‘rides roughshod’ over the decades of work Scotland’s farmers, fishers, food and drink producers have put into developing Scotland’s globally-recognised brand. Watch the session here.
What can I do?
If you see an item, photograph it, share it on social media, contact the supermarkets, the retailers; use the hashtag #keepScotlandtheBrand. Share any responses you get. Ask your elected representatives to speak up for Scotland.
Keep Scotland the Brand is not a boycott campaign. It is a positive move to support the people who put GM-free food on our tables: Scotland’s farmers and fishermen. It is a positive campaign to support our food and drink industry, our tourism and hospitality sector, our tweed and textiles base, our distilleries, and so many more entrepreneurs who keep Scotland’s economy moving.
Keep Scotland the Brand grew out of Yes Kirriemuir and Yes Forfar, a non-party political group of people living in the heart of Angus. We are supporting Scotland’s producers because it is the right thing to do. Farmers are our neighbours. Many are our friends. If their businesses are hit, our communities will suffer. If Scotland’s economy is hurt, all of Scotland will suffer.
#keepScotlandtheBrand – because we all need to eat.