THE NATIONAL today is proud to launch a campaign to have all retailers recognise the Scottish producers of items made, grown or developed in Scotland.

Our campaign is called Save Our Scotland Brand, or SOS Brand, and is a direct result of our readers flooding us with complaints about companies such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco either mislabelling goods or marking them with a Union Jack when they are clearly made in Scotland.

It is hugely important for the Scottish economy that quality food, drink and goods that are produced in this country should be known as Scottish first and foremost.

We have so many wonderful products of which Scots can be proud, not least because in food and drink alone we exported a record £5.5 billion worth of goods last year – helping to make Scotland one of only two areas of the UK, as defined by HMRC, which is a net exporter, the other being Northern Ireland.

The National:

Something being acknowledged as a Scottish item produced in Scotland is not about nationalism but about the economy. It assures buyers that they are getting a quality item, and it would seem only a matter of common sense that retailers – many of whom do invest heavily in Scottish food and drink produce in particular – should be proud of that Scottish origin and mark it as such.

Yet Tesco have relabelled Scottish strawberries as British and Marks & Spencer on their website put Scotch whisky’s country of production as Great Britain.

Evidence which we shall publish in the days to come will prove that a whole host of items in the supermarkets are now branded with Union flags – “Union Jackery” as we call it – including goods that used to be identified as Scottish.

One National reader, Ruth Watson, decided to start a social media campaign #KeepScotlandtheBrand to highlight this practice which has grown steadily since the Brexit vote, and The National has highlighted her view that the retailers are mounting a “buy British” campaign to cash in on the result of the European referendum.

It is a hark back to 1967-68 and the I’m Backing Britain campaign, something which was hijacked by the late publisher Robert Maxwell and became “Buying British” before fizzling out as people realised how risible it was – the campaign’s t-shirts were made in Portugal.

The National has no problem whatsoever with people buying goods marked with the Union Jack, but as the only daily newspaper that supports independence we want to see the Saltire and the words “Scottish produce” used when an item that originates in Scotland is being sold in Scotland.

Next week we’ll name names.

If you’ve seen anything to report, please get in touch with us at