A slice of recognition
Application for Dundee Cake to be given protected status.
An application is being lodged to gain European protection for Dundee Cake.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead made the announcement on a visit to the Dundee Flower and Food Festival, ahead of the start of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.
It comes on the day that a Bank of Scotland report revealed that over 5,600 extra jobs could be created in Scotland’s food and drink sector by 2018.
The Scottish Government and Scotland’s Rural College have been working with producers and experts from the University of Abertay Dundee on an application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the cake under the EU’s Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme.
The application will now be subject to a national consultation in line with the rules of the PFN scheme, which was introduced in 1994 to protect food names on the basis of geographical or traditional recipes.
Dundee Cake is famously decorated with whole, blanched almonds and its distinctive recipe began development in the city in the late 1700’s.
Mr Lochhead said: “Dundee is famous as a city of discoveries and we want the world to discover delicious, authentic Dundee Cake.
“We can trace its origins back hundreds of years to the kitchens of the marmalade inventor Janet Keiller, making it a thoroughly Dundonian delicacy which deserves European recognition for its unique characteristics and long association with this city.
“Scotland is world-famous for our wonderful food and drink, and people want to know they are buying the real deal. Achieving PGI status for Dundee Cake will ensure that consumers at home and abroad have a one hundred per cent guarantee of the product’s authenticity.
“We already have Scottish foods, such as Stornoway Black Pudding and Scotch Beef, which are PGI protected and free from imitation. It guarantees the food’s provenance and supports local producers.
“The PFN scheme can benefit producers of brands synonymous with Scotland by providing them with recognition of their product and safeguarding it from imitation, and I would encourage them to look at taking this forward.”
Dundee baker Martin Goodfellow, of Goodfellow and Steven, said:
“Although the Dundee Cake is a product that is known all over the world, it does not currently enjoy geographical protection and is produced in a number of locations to various quality levels. It is a significant part of our heritage and it is important that the cake is rightfully associated with the city in which it originated and its quality levels maintained.”
Commenting on the Bank of Scotland figures, Mr Lochhead said:
"It is wonderful to see the Bank of Scotland report reinforcing the point that Scotland's food and drink industry is without doubt a phenomenal success.
“A combination of iconic products, strong global brands, innovation and our excellent provenance credentials ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.
“This is a wonderful show of support for Scotland's food and drink industry and a sign that it is a strong economic driver for Scotland. We have worked extremely hard to grow the sector, connect with existing and emerging markets, and grow interest in our fantastic natural larder far and wide.
“Scotland is A Land of Food and Drink and I am committed to continually supporting this message and I can think of no better time than during Scotland Food and Drink Fortnight."
On behalf of the Scottish Government, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been working with experts from Abertay University and Dundee bakers – including Martin Goodfellow (Goodfellow & Steven), Alan Clark (Clarks), Mark Robb (JM Bakery) and Iain Murray (Baker Trade of Dundee) - to agree a specification and application to apply for Dundee Cake to be registered under the EC Protected Food Name (PFN) Scheme under the Protection of Geographical Indication (PGI) designation.
The application for Dundee Cake PGI status outlines the raw materials and volumes that must be used to make Dundee Cake and specifies that the cake must be mixed, baked and decorated with almonds in the Dundee specific area.
The Scottish Government is in the process of finalising the application. Once the application has been finalised, it will be subject to a national consultation. Parties who wish to comment/object must state their intention to do so within four weeks of the consultation launch. They will then have a further eight weeks to give complete details of their comments/objections.
One the consultation has been completed, the application will be forwarded the application to Defra, which is responsible for submitting applications from the UK to the European Commission. It takes, on average, two years for an application for receive approval, although new regulations introduced in 2013 aim to reduce this timescale to one year.
Scottish foods which currently hold PFN status include: Stornoway Black Pudding, Shetland Lamb, Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scottish Wild Salmon, Scotch Lamb, Scotch Beef, Arbroath Smokie, Native Shetland Wool, Teviotdale Cheese (not in production) and Bonchester Cheese (not in production)
More on the PFN scheme: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Food-Industry/national-strategy/rep/PFNs
Dundee Cake has an iconic appearance, in that the carefully laid-out pattern of whole, blanched almonds immediately distinguishes it from other fruit cakes. It is light and buttery containing sultanas, almonds, Amontillado sherry and candied orange peel. It is a fruit cake made by the creaming method, the mixture contains about 25% more flour than normally expected and contains sugar with dried vine fruits, candied peel and chopped almonds, and the cake is flavoured with grated orange zest.
An early version of a Dundee Cake was developed in the late 1700’s under the roof of Janet Keiller’s shop. Janet Keiller’s invention of a new type of Seville orange marmalade launched the family into large-scale commercial production. Around the mid 1800’s the factory began experimenting the idea of a special Keiller cake as a useful, non-seasonal item in the company’s production schedule. The recipe later became established as Keiller’s Dundee Cake.
Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight takes place September 7-22, 2013 and is a celebration of the best that Scotland's larder has to offer, celebrating our Land of Food and Drink. The Fortnight comprises more than 200 events and is managed by industry leadership organisation Scotland Food & Drink: www.scottishfoodanddrinkfortnight.co.uk