Flags on produce may not help sales – Helen Martin

Sometimes it’s necessary to take your partner with you for shopping.
A Scottish Saltire hangs next to a Union JackA Scottish Saltire hangs next to a Union Jack
A Scottish Saltire hangs next to a Union Jack

There can be a lot to carry, a discussion about the night’s meal, different nibble options, whatever.

But here in Scotland we have a specific problem, highlighted recently by Aberdeenshire-based Mackie’s who produce ice-cream, crisps and chocolate.

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They’ve plopped a Union Jack on their chocolate bars, which they say is “for export”. That means my husband will no longer buy their ice-cream or crisps either. He’s joining a vast number of people who won’t buy anything that has the UK flag on it and thinks Mackie’s are being disloyal to Scotland.

The same has happened if I’ve gone to pick up anything – a bag of tatties, a block of cheese, or any produce that bears “the butcher’s apron”. He doesn’t want it.

I’ve always admitted to you that I want independence and will vote for the SNP. I want to get back in the EU and certainly expect Scottish food, drink, or anything to have a Saltire on it instead. Until now if I saw what I believed to be the nicest, best, available tatties, cheese or anything else, with a red, white and blue flag, I’d buy them – accepting that they were English or maybe Welsh spuds.

But what’s the point of having a Union Jack label on Scottish produce? Is that really going to promote sales overseas? It’s certainly going to alienate 58 per cent of Scottish customers.

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And if we do achieve independence and the EU single market, a Brexit Union Jack won’t be a positive, promotional bit of décor for Germany, France, Ireland or the rest of Europe.

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