Scottish food policy in sight – Fishupdate.com

Scottish food policy in sight Published:  07 November, 2007

Richard Lochhead

THE Scottish Government today announced a commitment to a national food policy for Scotland.

And they added that there will be a national food debate in the New Year that will sample the views of experts and consumers across the country.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead said:

“Food is a vitally important issue which impacts on many aspects of Scottish life – health, business and environment. Of all the subjects I’ve discussed with farmers, fishermen, restaurateurs, retailers and consumers, none evokes more passion than food, in particular the high quality produce from Scotland’s farms, seas and food manufacturers.

“There is a growing appetite that we as a nation must make more of the wonderful food we produce. I believe a national food policy will help to ensure that fresh, high quality and healthy Scottish food is the first choice on everyone’s menu. We want to ensure a more effective supply chain, where producers have closer links to their customers’ right through the food chain including supermarkets and restaurants.

“There is a great deal of good work already being done, and the Scottish Government now aims to bring all these efforts together in a more joined up, collaborative way of working on food issues.

“This will take into account all aspects of food from health and education to the economy and tourism, sourcing Scottish food through public procurement, and making healthier food more accessible to all in Scotland.

“The time is right to start this debate, as I recognise there is a great deal of current interest in the future success, vibrancy and sustainability of Scottish food.

“I intend to ensure that the process in developing a long term vision for food in Scotland is as inclusive as possible. Starting in the New Year there will be a National Food Debate embarking on a series of events. I call upon everyone in Scotland with an interest in food to contribute to this debate, which will help to form a future food policy.”

Shona Robison, Minister for Public Health, will close the debate for the Scottish Government.

She said:

“Our Government has a chance to achieve success for Scotland through smarter joined up working and a National Food Policy can be good for the nation’s health, as well as supporting home-grown businesses and benefiting the environment.

“We need to do more to ensure that nutritious home grown food extends beyond niche high value markets and is available and affordable to all in our communities. This will build on work we are already doing to promote healthier food choices and help tackle the growing problem of obesity.

“We need to underpin vision with grounded action to ensure an inclusive approach that tackles the challenges ahead including a greater focus on policy integration on food and inequalities. I am confident that a National Food Policy will help us achieve this. I look forward to working with others in taking this forward.”

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