Scotland’s first food policy, to be presented by the government this week, aims to increase intake of healthier foods, boost the economic growth of the food industry and minimize the environmental impact of food production.
Cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, Richard Lochherd, says plans have been established to take a comprehensive look at all aspects of the food chain – from “farm gate to plate”. “We need to tap into the potential of Scotland’s world-famous produce to secure a healthier, wealthier, greener Scotland. Supporting food production and manufacturing in Scotland is in our national interest,” stated Lochherd.
One of Scotland’s top chefs, Shirley Spear, has expressed regret that these actions weren’t taken earlier but is pleased to finally see progress in this direction. “As a restaurateur and chef in Scotland I’ve been trying to make the powers-that-be understand that tourism and food go hand-in-hand. Scottish people need to give themselves recognition that our food culture is deep-rooted and important to us as a nation, and we should be making much more of it for ourselves and our visitors.”
Other high profile Scottish chefs, such as Nick Nairn and Martin Wishart, have been talking up the importance of using Scottish, seasonal food and the policy launch comes at a time when public awareness about the origins of food is at an all time high.
Potential areas for change may include schemes to enable people to know where their food comes from, the sale of more affordable, healthier and clearly labeled Scottish produce and better promotion of food tourism.