Minister "Overwhelmed" By Response to Food Policy Discussion

Submitted by edg on Mon, 5 May '08 5.43am

The Scottish government minister who headed a recent three-month public "discussion" on Scotland's food policy said he had been "overwhelmed" by the public response.

"The wide array of responses show food is clearly a subject close to many of our hearts," said Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

He added, "The responses to the discussion will be carefully considered to help develop Scotland's first-ever food policy. I will be making an indicative statement in June on the key findings of this discussion and the next steps we will be making as we develop a national food policy for Scotland."

Thousands of people attended events across the country during the food policy discussion period which ended on 25 April. Online, the discussion drew over 25,000 unique visitors to the Scottish Government
website food pages, with around 500 individual contributions, including over 100 comments on the food blog.

The discussion paper 'Choosing The Right Ingredients', covered a wide-range of potential areas for change including: new traceability schemes so people know where their food comes from; greater innovation to develop more low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar food; working with producers and retailers to deliver a more sustainable food chain; and the promotion and sale of more affordable, healthier and clearly labelled Scottish produce.

The government is seeking to join up policy on every part of the food chain from farm gate to plate, to create what Lochhead hopes will be "a sustainable food industry within a greener, healthier, wealthier Scotland."