Cheese firms in bid to protect names

Two scottish cheese companies are attempting legally to protect the names of their produce to stop other firms cashing in on their brands.

Orkney Island Cheddar and Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop have applied for Protected Food Name (PFN) status, which would protect them against imitation in the EU. If successful, the cheeses would join the likes of Stilton, Dorset Blue and Staffordshire Cheese on the PFN register. Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Government's Environment Secretary, said foreign firms were trading off the good reputation of the country's produce.

"Numerous products from different countries use Scotland's good name to sell their wares, including smoked salmon and oats," he said. "Rather than allowing others to trade on our reputation with inferior quality produce, we should be grasping these opportunities for ourselves and knocking the copycats off the shelves."

Both Orkney Island Cheddar and Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop are made using local milk, and PFN status would limit production of the two cheeses to companies within those areas.

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