RURAL ECONOMY secretary Fergus Ewing has unleashed a broadside at his Westminster counterpart Michael Gove over the UK's failure to lobby for the inclusion of its Protected Food Names in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

In a letter to Mr Gove, Mr Ewing acknowledged Mr Gove's defence that it had ultimately been the EU’s decision as to what products were included for recognition – but questioned the UK Government's failure to put forward any UK products for the EU's consideration.

"As you know both Scottish Farmed Salmon and Scotch Beef are up there with the most valuable PFNs in the EU," wrote Mr Ewing. "To see niche products such as Magiun de prune Topoloveni from Romania – however fine that product may be – on the CETA list only serves to heighten my frustration.

"You argue that the EU bases its proposals on the current levels of exports, but I would be astonished if the Romanian plum jam and the 11 pages of other PFNs that are listed in CETA all exceed the threshold but not a single UK PFN does. Do you have any evidence that this is the case? What scrutiny did Defra apply to the EU’s proposals?"

However, Mr Ewing welcomed the news that Defra officials were now 'exploring the path' that will allow for Scottish Farmed Salmon and Scotch Beef to be added to the CETA deal, and suggested that Scotch Lamb be added to those efforts.