First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recently met with representatives from the Scottish agricultural industry to hear first-hand about the myriad challenges they currently face and what actions would be most beneficial.
Ms Sturgeon and Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead discussed a range of issues facing the industry while at South Slipperfield Farm in West Linton. One of the key issues raised from the meeting was how to increase Scottish sourcing at home and abroad.
A study will be conducted by Scottish Food & Drink to help establish where retailers are sourcing products such as butter and cheese. The results will then be used as a foundation to achieve a step change, which will bring more Scottish products to market and improve access for shoppers to Scottish dairy products.
Ms Sturgeon comments: “Scotland has world class products and world class producers, and we want to see a situation where they are appearing in cafes, canteens and supermarkets throughout Scotland and also across the globe.
“We know that there is a strong appetite from consumers in Scotland to have access to home-grown foods and support our farmers and producers. Supermarkets, retailers and the foodservice sector are an important part of that journey from farm to fork, but we need to establish if we can all do more to drive up sales and accessibility.
“To do this, we need to have information on where retailers are sourcing their products and then identify how we can work with them and others to ensure more of their stock is Scottish. It’s also about tempting buyers to look upon Scotland for their products.”