[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Marag dubh"][/caption]
Moves have been afoot to protect the brand of Stornoway Black Pudding (marag dubh). It is a delicacy (depending on your taste) for which the butchers of this town are rightly famous. However, there are less scrupulous individuals on the mainland who seek to cash in on the brand by selling their black puddings under the abovementioned brand.
As the law stands, there is nothing anybody can do to stop that. However, it is possible to apply for protected status for a regional brand. Examples are parma ham from Italy and champagne wine from France.
I have to be brutally honest and say that I do not understand the frankly narrow-minded attitude of the producers of black puddings from elsewhere in Lewis (e.g. Ness) and Harris (topographically the same island) who do not want to be caught under the same brand as Stornoway's. Isn't it more important to protect the product, which is associated with the islands, then to engage in petty strife? Yes, we all know that there is this rivalry between Lewis and Harris, and that nobody from outside town wants to be seen to be associated with Stornoway.
It is this sort of shortsightedness that has led to the effectual demise of the Harris Tweed industry in these islands. I therefore hope that people will have the sense to accept the offer from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to capture all Lewis and Harris produced marag under the Stornoway Black Pudding brand, and have it protected from outside copycats.