Protect our tartan!

Locally manufactured goods and handicraft products should be given EU-wide protection, declared MEPs in Strasbourg today. 

The non-binding resolution calls on the Commission to propose legislation to extend protection of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) to include products such as Scottish tartan, Bohemian glass and Carrara marble. The link between the product and the place where it is manufactured is essential to highlight the quality and ethnicity of the product, said MEPs. 

Alyn Smith SNP MEP said:

“We have our Dunlop Cheese, Arbroath Smokies and Dundee Cake, and Harris Tweed is one of Scotland’s great success stories in terms of an internationally-recognised, high-quality product. So why not extend this to tartan?

“In helping to preserve cultural heritage and the traditional know-how, this system of GI protection could have some serious economic clout and bring significant benefits for SMEs throughout Scotland.

“I’ve seen enough shonky plaid masquerading as tartan to last me a lifetime, so I’m fully in favour of extending PGI status to non-agriculture products. 

“It’s with the Commission now, but I see no reason why this couldn’t be included in the Commission’s internal market Strategy later this year.”


The resolution was adopted by 608 votes to 43 (with 43 abstentions) 

At EU level, unitary geographical indication (GI) protection is provided for agricultural products from a specific geographical origin possessing certain qualities or made according to traditional methods. At the moment, there is no unitary GI protection for non-agricultural products at EU level. 

The SNP previously launched its 2014 agriculture priorities for Europe by calling for PGI status for Dunlop cheese.