Status Go: green light for island black?

Stornoway black pudding is a step closer to securing the coveted Protected Geographical Indicator Status (PGI) from the European Union following a consultation period.

The campaign to have the Stornoway marag dubh be recognised has cleared a further hurdle after the Scottish Government announced that the UK discussion period on the application had passed without any objections being made.

That clears the way for the claims of the Stornoway Black Pudding Producers Association (SBPPA)to advance to the next stage. The application will now be formally submitted by the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the European Commission for due consideration.

If successful, PGI would secure recognition of Stornoway black pudding as being unique to the area and prevent imitators from passing their products off as Stornoway-style puddings. The same status protects the rights of Champagne, Camembert de Normandie, Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausage. The law came into being in 1992 to protect the reputation of regional foods.

Iain Macleod of the SBPPA, said, “We are really encouraged by the support we have received, not only from the Scottish Government, DEFRA and our local politicians, but from fans of our iconic product from all over the world. The response to our application has been tremendous. We believe it is vital that the special heritage of the Stornoway Black Pudding is protected.

“Our product has been here in the Hebrides for hundreds of years on the crofts, and the local butchers that are members of the Producers Association trade both on and of the islands with their product.

“The emergence of ‘Stornoway-Style’ black pudding on the market place has been a threat to our product – it’s an imitation product. Whilst it is in one way a compliment that these companies want to use our name, it is an inferior product that they are selling and its very damaging to our brand.

“The Stornoway Black Pudding is a product that is intrinsically linked back to the Outer Hebrides and we have a collective desire to protect both our food and tourism industries, and safeguard the islands’ food heritage.”

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