A range of iconic Scottish food products including Scotch beef and lamb will have special protected status in Japan from this week to safeguard against imitation.

Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Stornoway black pudding, and Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop are also included in a list of 37 Geographical Indications (GIs) that are expected to formally gain protection following the completion of UK and Japanese scrutiny and bureaucratic processes.

A second group of protections is set to be announced once further work has concluded.

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Securing GIs for iconic Scottish products prevents imitation products being placed on the Japanese market, ensuring businesses can export with confidence and consumers receive authentic, high-quality products.

Japan’s population of 125 million has a strong appetite for international food and drink. The country’s status as the world’s third largest economy in 2022 and GDP per capita of £27,400 highlights the strength of its consumer market and the commercial opportunities for premium Scottish products in Japan.

Broxburn-based beef supplier Stoddart’s has welcomed the move.

Managing director Grant Moir said: “Since Stoddart’s started to supply beef to Japan back in 2019 the brand attributes of Scotch Beef has always been a major draw for the Japanese market.

"With the recent announcement that the Geographical Indication is to be formally recognised this will only enhance and strengthen the Scotch and Stoddart’s brand in Japan.

"Scotland has long been admired for its food and drink heritage and this will only benefit the global reputation of Scotland."

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The UK will also be protecting the Geographical Indications of several Japanese food and drink products, including Hokkaido wine and Hiba beef. This ensures British consumers can shop with confidence knowing they are purchasing authentic Japanese goods.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2021 and will lead to the increase of protected GIs from just seven under the EU-Japan trade deal to more than 70.

UK government minister for Scotland, Donald Cameron said: "The producers of some of our world-famous Scottish exports can be assured that their iconic products are protected through this important agreement with Japan.

“We are proud to support globally-recognised brands like Scotch beef and lamb, Stornoway Black Pudding, and Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar and see them go from strength to strength on the world stage."