Scotland’s local produce is playing a key part in the country’s food revolution and we should all do more to promote it, according to the Rural Affairs Secretary.
Richard Lochhead has written to all 108 agricultural shows taking place in Scotland this year to ensure as much Scottish food as possible is sold at the events.
He also announced nearly £5,000 in funding for the Crail Food Festival through the Community Food Fund, which is funded by the Scottish Government.
Speaking at the NFUS AGM in St Andrews, Mr Lochhead said:
“The raw materials needed for our food and drink industry is provided in communities across Scotland, enabling us to supply high quality products that are in great demand across the world.
“Much of this spectacular produce is right here on our own doorstep, from Scotch Beef and Lamb, to Scottish farmed salmon, and many other Scottish foods, not to mention the best malt whiskies in the world.
“With a surge in the number of food tents at events, showcasing our food and drink is now a major part at many of our famous agricultural shows. However, it would be fantastic to see as much as possible of the food and drink sold at our shows being locally produced, and be able to tell people of its journey from farm to fork and grain to glass. That’s why I have written to all of our shows, asking them to do this where possible and participate in our food revolution.
“Scotland’s food provenance is a major selling point and we know visitors prefer to buy food and drink with a story behind it – where, when, how and by whom it was produced. Local produce is key to that and Fife is playing its part in this success story.
“I was delighted that Ardross Farm Shop near Elie was recently awarded the UK Farm Shop of the Year; and today I can announce that I’m granting Crail Food Festival £4,750 through the Community Food Fund to enrich what is already a really great showcase and celebration of Fife’s fabulous produce.
“Scotland’s food and drink is up there with the very best and I want our agricultural shows and local events to work with us and cement our reputation as a Land of Food and Drink. High quality products from our natural larder will create a highly enjoyable experience, so let’s make 2014 a year to remember.”