Perth fishmonger, George Campbell and Sons, The Seafood Specialists, explain on their website what provenance is and why it matters:
‘… you’re giving it a stamp of assurance and quality; guaranteeing its origins and geographical birth. For those of us who care about where we source our meat and fish, the seasonality of our veggies and the ethos of our suppliers, this is an important piece of information. It lets us know we’re doing our bit for planet and producer and ensures we’re making ethical choices while enjoying food at its very best.’
This was not Marks and Spencer’s finest moment, as reported in The National:
‘The shop’s customer service representative wrote: “I have received the email from you regarding your order and I am able to inform you that the National Scottish Referendum has taken place and the majority of Scotland decided that the lovely country of Scotland would belong in and stay within the UK and will be a part of the country known as England.”’
“Many of new Scottish gins hitting the shops this festive season, The Herald can reveal, are made by contract distillers in London and Birmingham. And, unlike for Scotch, which has name protection, there is nothing to stop brands draping themselves in the Saltire.
Established gin makers are worried. They fear drinkers will be left with a taste as bitter as some junipers when they realise they have paid a premium to buy what amounts to a supermarket clear spirit with a symbolic dash of Scottish “botanics”, such as heather or seaweed.”
The Press and Journal reports:
“NFU Scotland (NFUS) has called for the upcoming Good Food Nation Bill to include measures which incentivise the public sector to buy local and encourage shoppers to make home-grown choices.
The farmers’ union said it was vital that the voices of farmers and crofters were included in the Bill, which aspires to make Scotland a country where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they buy, serve, and eat day by day.
It described the food and drink sector as the “jewel in Scotland’s economic crown” with an annual value of £14.4billion.”
The Press and Journal reports:
“Food security cannot be guaranteed in a post-Brexit world, according to NFU Scotland (NFUS) chief executive Scott Walker.
In his address to the union’s annual meeting he highlighted recent vegetable shortages, and said that until now consumers had taken food security for granted.
“This week has provided a wake-up call to all those who do not take food security seriously,” he said.”
“Brexit has already damaged the UK’s “global brand”, according to the head of the world’s largest advertising conglomerate.
Writing exclusively for The Independent, Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, suggests the xenophobic tone of the 2016 referendum campaign did serious harm that needs to be repaired and that Theresa May’s Brussels deal on 8 December over European Union citizens’ rights was merely the necessary first step.”
The online industry magazine, The Drinks Business, reports:
“The Scottish economy secretary Keith Brown has written to the UK government asking for greater protection for Scotch, pointing out that the US has previously supported the relaxation of definitions for whiskey in the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a move that would undercut the position of Scotch.
“The US made clear in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership discussions that they would support a relaxation of the definition of whisky, which would open the market up to a number of products which do not currently meet that standard,” he said.”
The Scotsman newspaper features an article about #keepScotlandtheBrand under a slightly inaccurate headline. The campaign is not about putting flags on produce but ensuring – if a flag is on the produce – it should help consumers identify the origin of that item.
Most farms in Scotland still are family owned, according the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS). The work they put in to ensuring we have nutritious, healthy food on our plates is dauntless and often unrecognised. They have worked hard to earn the reputation as quality producers. Here they outline their vision for the future. They emphasise the importance of clear provenance:
‘The challenge we put to the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and the marketplace is to improve the position of farmers in the food supply chain by:
Ensuring that shoppers have the necessary origin and provenance information that allows them to make informed choices, boosting the sales of food that is local and Scottish. ‘
The National newspaper, realising what loss of brand identity and market reputation would mean for Scotland’s economic and social wellbeing, launched its own ‘Save Our Scotland Brand’ campaign, well worth following.