UK EXPORT negotiators have been accused of dropping the ball by failing to include key 'protected' Scottish food products in the latest international trade deals.

Quality Meat Scotland sounded the alarm after the UK Government omitted Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI – alongside a host of other Protected Geographic Indication products like Arbroath smokies, Stornoway black pudding, Orkney cheddar and Ayrshire Dunlop cheese – from the final text of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreements, and other trade deals with Japan and Mexico.

The omission is particularly baffling because other EU member states with PGI products – iconic local brands like Parma ham, Feta cheese and Nurnberger bratwurst – made sure that they were included in the trade deals, while UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox apparently dodged calls from opposition parties to openly debate his negotiating priorities.

NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said: “This must be a wakeup call to all those in government who hope that, in the future, it will be the UK that is striking trade deals on its own rather than through the European Union.

“The UK should have put all our protected food names on the protected list. It is not about what we export to these countries now but what we might export in the future," said Mr Walker.

“All is not lost, as there will be an opportunity to add to the list when the CETA application is reviewed, but it is this sort of detail that the UK government needs to pay attention to as it looks to strike its own trade deals after we have left the European Union."

NFUS vice president Martin Kennedy added: “Scotland’s farmers and crofters consider what we produce to be among the finest in the world and we have invested a lot of our own time into producing beef and lamb which meet the high standards required for the Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and other foods which are guaranteed name protection.

“We want to see our food names protected through the text of any and all trade deals, whether these trade deals are being signed now or in the future.”

Scottish rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing this week wrote to Defra minister Michael Gove seeking assurances that the UK Government would consult with the devolved administrations in future – and noted that he had already written to Mr Gove's predecessor, Andrea Leadsom, concerning the products listed in the EU-Canada deal, but had received no reply.

“As I’m sure you appreciate, our protected food name producers value the protection that geographical Indication provides and the omission of products such as Scottish farmed salmon from CETA could put the industry at a commercial disadvantage," said Mr Ewing.

Despite previous assurances that the Scottish government would be fully consulted on the CETA deal for inclusion of protected food names, the CabSec told Mr Gove that consultation had "not materialised".

“I would therefore be grateful for your assurance that you will urgently review the process within your department for consultation with devolved administrations on both current and future trade deals."