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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Smokies return to supermarkets
Arbroath smokies
Arbroath Smokies can only be produced in the Angus town
The Arbroath Smokie is set to return to supermarket shelves after a firm resumed production of the delicacy at a new smokehouse in the Angus town.

RR Spink & Sons stopped making smokies almost three years ago due to concerns over the supply and cost of haddock.

The company said it decided to re-enter the market because conditions had changed - and the smokie has been granted official status.

The smokie is a haddock which is dried and cured in a barrel over a wood fire.

Company director Jim Gourley said the company had stopped producing smokies because the size of fish required were in short supply - and the cost was very high.

Hot and cold

Despite that the firm's workforce has trebled to 96 since it was bought over by the current owners in 2000.

Turnover had also risen from 1m to 5.5m each year - and is expected to rise further.

RR Spink also produces a range of hot and cold smoked dishes based on salmon and trout.

Mr Gourley predicted that the sale of smokies would add another 500,000 onto the firm's annual sales and could create additional jobs.

We are investing in a forward-looking industry committed to making quality produce more widely available
Allan Wilson
Deputy Rural Development Minister
RR Spink has started supplying Sainsbury's and is looking to add other chains in the future.

The Scottish Executive provided 91,000 towards the construction of the new smokehouse and associated equipment.

It said RR Spink was the only processor in Arbroath with the necessary technical expertise, size and existing customer base, to get smokies back onto the fish counters of multiple retailers.

Deputy Rural Development Minister Allan Wilson said: "With the opening of the first dedicated smokehouse in Arbroath to supply supermarket fish counters we are investing in a forward-looking industry committed to making quality produce more widely available.

"The Arbroath Smokie has a proud heritage, and thanks to the work done both here in Arbroath by the Arbroath Fish Processors Association, and by the Scottish Executive, a secure future."

Geographical area

Earlier this month it was announced that the smokie had earned special European protection through Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.

The product will carry a blue and yellow round stamp on every pack sold and on point of sales display adverts.

PGI status is granted to products which are produced, processed or prepared within a definite geographical area and have clear associations with that area.

The Arbroath Smokie is the seventh Scottish product to receive PGI status.

It followed Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb, Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Shetland Lamb and Bonchester Cheese.


SEE ALSO:
Smokie tag cures 'fake' problems
02 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Dish set for official recognition
24 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Smokie put on back burner
20 Apr 01  |  Scotland


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