The famous Ayrshire New Potatoes have been granted EU protection against unauthorised imitation.

The potatoes, also known as Ayrshire Earlies, join a list of products including Scotch whisky, Stornoway black pudding and Scottish salmon, which also have protected geographic indication (PGI) status.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is great news for Ayrshire potato growers, particularly given the current uncertainty for the industry being caused by Brexit.

“Scotland has an unrivalled global reputation for quality food and drink produced from our own natural larder.

“PGI status not only helps protect the provenance of products like Scotch whisky, Stornoway black pudding and Arbroath smokies but also assures consumers at home and abroad that they can trust the product they are buying, and ensures that the right expertise, ingredients and methods of production are being used.

“My congratulations to the Girvan Early Growers for making this happen.”

The Culture Secretary joined members of the Girvan Early Growers to celebrate the status being granted last week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her reaction to the decision, saying: “Great news. “I was born and brought up there so I know I’m biased, but there’s no beating Ayrshire new tatties.”

Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations, added: “As someone brought up in Ayrshire (and my father always grew a few rows, every year) this is great and long overdue news.”