Plans to create unique ‘Made in Dumfries and Galloway’ brand revealed

A bid to create a Dumfries and Galloway brand is to be discussed next week.

At Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday (November 21), members will hear a proposal from the council’s trading standards Team to develop a Made in Dumfries and Galloway brand which will help promote local businesses and local products.

Branding is essential in today’s consumer-led society and this scheme, which will be delivered by trading standards, is aimed at supporting and promoting the area’s unique local creative economy and heritage, food and drink and local produce.

The stunning Rockcliffe in Dumfries and Galloway

It will give local producers the opportunity to work closely with the regulator for the first time, learning how to comply with complex laws, rather than the first point of contact being through inspection for non-compliance.

As the origins of the goods would be a necessary part of the exercise, this would give trading standards the opportunity to verify that they are produced in Dumfries and Galloway; help businesses protect and promote their reputation by utilising the ‘Made in Dumfries and Galloway’ logo; and boost consumer confidence to buy locally.

The focus would be to ensure compliance of the goods with consumer protection laws and the proof of origin complements other local accreditation schemes which have been developed including Trusted Trader, Naturally D&G and the Biosphere Certification Mark.

A view of Screel

Retailers would also be able to use the brand and logo as a marketing tool to promote the fact that they stock Dumfries and Galloway made goods.

Small businesses with a limited budget will benefit from being part in the overall identity and will be able to network with others who have also achieved this status. New businesses will also be able to start off with good advice, as well as a ready made website, as trading standards will be able to have involvement from the beginning, alongside Business Gateway, leading them on their journey.

The peaceful Isle of Whithorn, a hidden gem in Dumfries and Galloway

Vice-chair of EEI committee Andrew Wood, recognises the strengths that National and local branding can bring to our regional product, though appreciates that this accreditation scheme must get buy-in from local producers, while working positively in parallel with existing schemes to deliver the enhanced outcomes and reassurance required to further build on the high quality goods presently being offered.

Chair of EEI committee, Councillor Archie Dryburgh said: ‘I think this is an excellent proposal. Working alongside the other accreditation schemes in our region, this new “Made in Dumfries and Galloway” branding will not only help our local businesses promote their goods but will also promote our local products and encourage consumers to shop locally and be confident in the quality of the products they are purchasing, creating a brand of excellence for our regional products.’