Food Manufacture’s readers react to Scottish food map

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food Manufacture’s readers reacted to Johnston Carmichael’s food map of Scotland
Food Manufacture’s readers reacted to Johnston Carmichael’s food map of Scotland
A map that promoted Scottish food and drink has received an overwhelmingly positive response from readers of this website.

The map – produced by business consultancy firm Johnston Carmichael – sparked a strong response from’s ​readers, who called for iconic Scottish food and drink to have protected country of origin status.

While a number of readers praised the map for highlighting some of the best in Scottish produce, many said manufacturers needed to brand their products with the Saltire ­– the Scottish national flag – to differentiate it from British produce.

Reader Sheila Rae said: “I think it is essential that country of origin should be on all food items. I have noticed that most fruit and vegetables have in-house supermarket codes that mask country of origin.

‘Ludicrous and misleading to world markets’

“I strongly object to the Union Jack now replacing the Saltire on Scottish goods – marking haggis as British is ludicrous and misleading to world markets.

Some readers said Scottish produce needed to be protected in the same way as Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pies, with the Saltire used as an easily recognisable sign of good quality. ​reader Sandie Knudsen added: “Our brand and our flag is not only strong, but is known the world over. Please push for all food produced in Scotland to bear the Saltire Flag. Not the Union flag, but the Saltire.

“We must all place a high priority on keeping Scotland the brand and not allow the watering down of the brand.”

While receiving general praise from readers, some said the map could have showcased other iconic food and drink products.

One reader called out the lack of venison, grouse and pheasant present on the map, while another lamented the use of a leg bone to represent the north east coast to Inverness.

Lack of venison, grouse and pheasant

Reader Sophie Day said: “Scotland really is nature’s larder, so please don't homogenise our fabulous produce by sticking a generic UK flag on it.

However, one reader said manufacturers should take advantage of the strong “UK brand”​ to promote their Scottish products.

“The Union flag is known and respected worldwide, therefore I suggest it should always be used when advertising or packaging produce from the Scottish region,” ​said the reader identified as Proud Scot.

Commenting on the reaction to its food map, Adam Hardie, head of food and drink at Johnston Carmichael, said: “It’s fantastic to see our food map of Scotland receiving a strong response, highlighting the huge appetite for Scottish produce across the globe.

“Scotland has a world class food and drink industry and we created the map to shine a spotlight on the quality and diversity of the country’s rich, natural larder. Scottish craft beer and craft gin have also taken off in recent years, landing on the runway that Scotch whisky prepared for us.”

Johnston Carmichael’s map of Scotland​ highlighted the growing success of the food and drink industry – a key driver of the country’s economy.

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Keep Flags off Food Packaging

Posted by Susan Smith,

In recent months more and more fresh food comes emblazoned with the union flag which is a symbol of oppression and is not respected or appreciated by people in Scotland and in fact many Scots find this offensive. People say well just don’t buy it if it has that on it but frankly it is getting more and more difficult to avoid these days. Rather than working out which flag will ‘sell’ products in which area which is time consuming, unnecessary and frankly complicated why not revert to how it was before and just keep flags off food packaging as it is not necessary at all to add these and the union flag is not the flag to sell food north of the border many folks I’ve spoken to about this say they avoid picking up items that have the uj on them as they feel the establishment is ‘politicising’ our food

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To Proud Scot

Posted by Donald Bryce,

I am afraid you seem to be a bit mislead about the union flag. It is not respected throughout the world or even the EU.
It is looked on as a symbol of oppression and arrogance.
I don't know where you got the impression it was respected, but, I have spent most of my life travelling in the EU, and found that I got far more respect when I told people I was Scottish and not British.
So, if retailers want a European market, they need to make it significantly clear that their goods are marked SCOTTISH, and not UK.

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Scottish Labelling for Scottish Products

Posted by Linda McIlvenna,

It is so important that we maintain and promote Scotland's excellent and wholesome reputation when it comes to food and drink, and provenance of product is paramount. Imposing the union flag on Scottish produce is not only meaningless in identifying food provenance and actual country of origin but it is also subsuming our national identity. It is simply ludicrous that some firms are actually advertising British haggis, British shortbread, even British whisky!! I don't want to buy British strawberries or British potatoes, I want to buy Scottish strawberries and Scottish potatoes, and I want them to be clearly and boldly labelled as such, and bearing a Saltire.

It is very concerning that Westminster has not made one single application for protected goods status for Scottish produce, much to the astonishment of industry, the most recent being Westminster's refusal to protect Scotland's brand in respect of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb in the Japan, Canada and EU trade deals.

The quality of Scottish produce is world renowned and it is all the more essential, therefore, that we ensure that Scotland's identity is protected and proudly promoted, using our brand and our Scottish flag.

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