Scotland has one of the world's best natural larders. Whether it's our incredible seafood, a cut of the finest Scotch Beef, a bowl of hand-picked strawberries covered in organic cream, or a hearty baked potato with seasonal veggies – whatever your tastes or diet, you can find it in Scotland.
However, not everyone in Scotland has access to all that local Scottish food has to offer. Obesity caused by poor diet is a significant problem. The coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult for many families to put food on the table, despite the amazing efforts of local store workers, food delivery drivers, local authorities and community groups. This has to change. Whether you're living in Stornoway or Stirling, Elgin or Edinburgh, up in John o' Groats or down in Gretna Green; everyone should be able to afford and eat healthy, sustainable, local food.
The benefits of local food go past the plate. Through encouraging more locally based production and circular supply chains, we can reduce the distance food travels, as well as enabling more people to be able to get out and grow their own food. I believe that local food can be a central pillar in building the wealth and vibrancy of our local communities, as part of 20 minute neighbourhoods where people can meet their daily needs within a 20 minute walk – enabling people to live better, healthier lives and supporting our net zero ambitions.
Below, my officials have set out a comprehensive programme of actions that the Scottish Government are currently taking to support local food. As you will see, there is already a lot of amazing work going on. However, we know that we don't have all the answers, for that reason I am inviting you to share your ideas on what more can be done to create a future where all can enjoy locally produced food.