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Scottish MEP Ian Hudghton, a Forfarian who still lives in the town, has welcomed the announcement of an application to register the traditional local delicacy "Forfar Bridie" as a European Protected Geographical Indication by the Forfar Bridie Producers Organisation. European geographical indication regulations are designed to protect traditionally-produced products from specific regions from being imitated throughout the EU: there are over 1300 registered products listed in Europe, including 13 from Scotland, ranging from Scotch Lamb to Stornoway Black Pudding to Arbroath Smokies. Any producer can take advantage of the label as long as product specifications are adhered to, and that production takes place in a defined locality around Forfar, Glamis and Kinnettles, and that traceability can be proven and inspected by the Forfar Bridie Producers Organisation. Apart from protection from imitation, advantages include increased awareness of the product, the opportunity to take part in EU promotional campaigns and the opportunity for premium pricing.
Bridies have been associated with Forfar for hundreds of years and were reported by the Aberdeen Shaver as far back as 1833. Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, from Kirriemuir, made reference to Forfar Bridies in his novel Sentimental Tommy in 1896. The application for registration is now subject to a public consultation run by the Scottish Government, to last for three months until the 18th of August.
Commenting, Ian Hudghton said: "I am delighted to support this application for the Forfar Bridie to become an official European-protected quality product, to take its place alongside the likes of world-famous produce such as parma ham and feta cheese, and I have responded supportively to the consultation.
This is an important reminder of the real benefits which EU membership gives us: under EU law registered local delicacies can receive protection from imitation and a boost to their marketing profile. Many Scottish products, such as Arbroath Smokies, Ayrshire Dunlop cheese and Scottish salmon have already taken advantage of this, and I hope Forfar Bridies will do likewise. These economic and cultural opportunities simply would not exist without a common framework for independent countries to come together to find joint solutions to common challenges."