Where we're going
As the Government, it's our job to promote prosperity and opportunity for Scotland in a way that's economically and socially viable and has the minimum impact or no cost to the environment. We recognise that the food and drink industry plays a very important part in this and it's up to us really to understand what consumers and businesses want and need.
As well as the launch of the industry-led body, Scotland Food & Drink, we've spent time talking with all the main players in the private and public sectors. There's a growing consensus that we need a more joined-up approach to the way our food and drink industry develops in the future; an approach that takes into account the whole food supply chain, from primary producers through to retailers and their customers.
As a summary of our current thinking on food, we could say that we have to focus on healthier food, local food and help people to become more aware of the environmental impacts of the food supply chain, and where food comes from before it reaches the shelves. This will help us sustain and grow our important export markets that bring so much wealth to Scotland.
Here are some of things we've done since coming to power in May 2007:
- Encouraged people to ask where their food comes from and supported the National Farmers Union Scotland's What's On Your Plate campaign
- Set up the Scottish Sea Fisheries Council to encourage sustainable, responsible fishing, well connected to the market
- Started to take a fresh strategic look at the future of aquaculture
- Helped launch and part funded Scotland Food & Drink, the industry's own group
- Given £60,000 to the Royal Highland Education Trust, which teaches children about where food comes from
- Continued to support community food and health projects in deprived and rural areas to offer people a better choice of healthier food
- Had positive discussions with supermarkets and other major food retailers
- Launched the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign to reduce the amount of food we waste www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk
- Published our plans for developing skills in Scotland, including food sector skills
- Set up a unit responsible for making sure that the Government and the food and drink industry work better together
- Launched Scottish Food Fortnight 2007
- Talked to food and drink producers, processors, retailers, restaurateurs and related organisations across Scotland about food issues
- Continued to support the Healthyliving Award for food outlets
- Continued to fund businesses that want to work together in the food supply chain
- Launched a free school meals pilot for primary pupils in selected areas
- Published a new action plan for health and healthcare in Scotland; made it a priority to tackle obesity and undertaken to publish a food and health delivery plan in 2008
- Backed the Scottish Grocers' Federation Healthyliving Campaign to promote healthier food in local convenience stores, especially in low-income areas
- Launched a Local Food Marketing Guide