Protected food name status launched for unique Scottish barley
Supporters hope the protected status will safeguard the future of Orkney Beremeal.
The flour is milled from Bere and was historically used across Scotland. However, from the nineteenth century it fell out of use except for in the Highlands and Islands. It continued to be used a bread on Orkney and Shetland.
Keith Johnson of Birsay Heritage Trust said: “Bere is an ancient, heritage grain and was about to pass into history when it was saved by Birsay Heritage Trust.
“The charitable Trust operates the Barony Mill in Orkney, one of the few working water mills in Scotland, to produce stone ground bere meal for sale to the public.
“Beremeal has a distinctive flavour and colour and is thought to be low in gluten. We hope to increase our sales of this unique product to the mainland of UK.”
Food Secretary Richard Lochhead (pictured) said: “Beremeal is among some of the many iconic Orcadian products, and achieving PFN status will ensure that consumers at home and abroad have a one hundred per cent guarantee of the products’ authenticity.
“People want to know that they are buying the real deal when they are purchasing Scottish produce, and producers in Orkney have already achieved PFN status for Orkney Lamb, Orkney Beef and Orkney Cheddar.
“Elsewhere in Scotland foods such as Stornoway Black Pudding and Scotch Beef have been awarded Protected Geographical Indicator status, guaranteeing the food’s provenance and supporting local producers.”