Food is everyone's business. It's one of the few things that none of us can do without. Any vision of Scotland's future prosperity must include a well-nourished population and profitable food industry. So how do we guarantee a future for Scotland where our food is wholesome, healthy and produced in an environmentally and welfare friendly way?
In the first place, by getting people thinking and talking about it. How is it produced? Is it good for us? Is it 'green' enough? Do we have enough choice? Does our food industry - that means everyone in the food supply chain from the farmers, fish producers and fish catchers through to the supermarkets and consumers - run smoothly? How do they play their part in generating wealth and contributing to the well-being of Scotland's communities?
We, the Scottish Government, have a vision of how this future should be. It's set out below. But how do we get there? That's what we want to discuss with you. So please read on and let us know what you think.
Our vision for food in Scotland is that it should make the nation healthier, wealthier and smarter with production making communities stronger and consumption respecting the local and global environment.
- A healthier Scotland will result from changing individual behaviour and attitudes about diet and food choices; from improving the nutritional quality, safety and freshness of food on offer in institutions and the catering sector; to supporting Scottish food manufacturers and retailers to take the initiative in driving forward consumer demand for more affordable, healthier food options. Communities across Scotland will enjoy better access to affordable, safe, healthy and fresh seasonal food.
- A wealthier and fairer Scotland will result from the sustainable economic growth of the food industry through greater co-operation and collaboration from primary production to final market, ensuring the long-term viability of primary producers, and increasing export markets for Scottish produce.
- A safer and stronger Scotland will result from a thriving food industry where local communities will flourish and become better places to live through improved access to amenities and services.
- A greener Scotland will result from reducing the environmental impact of food and drink production, processing, manufacturing and consumption by encouraging responsible behaviour throughout the supply chain through reduced emissions, unnecessary use of raw materials, waste, packaging, energy and water use.
- A smarter Scotland will result from a highly-skilled and innovative food industry with consumers that are better informed about where their food comes from, how it was grown and the wider health, environmental, social and economic benefits of the choices they make.