Look for local
Rural Affairs Secretary calls on retailers and consumers to put local food first.
Supermarkets are being challenged to play their part in making sure that more Scottish products are among the top sellers in our stores by 2020 by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.
Mr Lochhead also set out three key actions to encourage everyone in Scotland to look for local food and ensure more local produce is on offer in Scotland.
Speaking at the NFUS AGM, Mr Lochhead confirmed:
- Half a million pounds over three years to help Scottish producers put their products to retailers and catering companies as part of a new UK market development programme launching next month
- He will meet supermarket leaders shortly to agree steps to transform their approach to local sourcing in 2015 and ensure Scottish products are the top sellers in Scottish stores
- A marketing campaign to promote local and in season food, will be launched this month.
Mr Lochhead said yesterday:
“Here in Scotland we produce some of the very best food and drink, with excellent national and local delicacies enjoyed by many. But all too often they are not stocked in Scotland. I will be in talks with retailers to agree steps they will take to transform their approach to local sourcing in 2015.
"But 2015 should just be a start. Let me lay down a clear challenge to our retailers today. I want them to do some soul searching and think about whether there is more they should be doing to back the Scottish economy and secure food production in this country.
"My challenge is this: let's set ourselves a target of five years and make sure that by then, for items made in Scotland, Scottish products should dominate our shelves.
“We can do it for red meat - why not for elsewhere.
"But let's not stop there. Retailers have a role to play but so do many others.
“That's why I am announcing a new campaign which will take action to help Scots, in this Year of Food and Drink, to enjoy the delights of local food.
"This will encourage us all to look for local. We will be running a nation-wide marketing campaign starting later this month to encourage consumers to eat local, in season food. We are also allocating £500,000 to help Scottish producers access retailers and caterers in the Scottish and UK markets.
“Our Look for Local campaign needs all our voices. We should shout from the rooftops about our great produce and expect all parts of the supply chain to do the same.
"These steps, taken together can and will take local food to the next level.”
Notes To Editors
The marketing campaign, called Happier Mealtimes, will launch on 25 February 2015.
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