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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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19 November
Hudghton seeks EU protection for Single Malts

SNP MEP, Ian Hudghton has stepped to assist Scotch whisky producers who are concerned over Diageo’s plans to create  and market a “pure malt” whisky under the name of Cardhu.  The MEP, who was asked by industry leaders to help protect the good name of single malts, has made an approach to the European Commission, asking whether Scottish single malts could be recognised under the EU’s Agriculture Quality Policy.  This policy entitles products to protection either by Designation of Origin, Geographical Indication or Traditional Speciality Guarantee and currently covers items such as Scotch beef and lamb.

In a letter to Stephen Whitehead of Allied Domecq and to Hamish Morison of the Scotch Whisky Association, Mr Hudghton says:

“I have been following, with considerable concern, reports of Diageo’s plans to create a “pure malt” whisky from blending single malts and share your anxieties about what this might do to the reputation of Scotland’s single malt whisky reputation.

“A way in which a producer can seek to preserve the good name and prevent imitation of his product is through applying for protection under the EU’s Agriculture Quality Policy.  Malt whisky could, arguably, fall into any of the three categories under the policy - Designation of Origin, Geographical Indication or Traditional Speciality Guarantee.  South of the border brewers of Kentish ales and Newcastle brown ale have applied for, and won such a designation and I see no reason why single malt whisky should not join them on the UK’s list of protected drinks products.

Mr Hudghton is making some initial enquiries to the Commission on behalf of the industry to see whether this proposal has some mileage in it.

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