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Food for thought

Published: 28 Feb 2016 10:00

Scottish Food Commission highlights its vision to become a Good Food Nation by 2025.

Food Secretary Richard Lochhead has welcomed a report recommending a nationwide movement to change attitudes towards food.

The Food Commission's interim report sets out a vision for 2025, with objectives in five key areas – social justice, health, environmental sustainability, prosperity and knowledge – and indicators to monitor change and measure future success.

The Cabinet Secretary heard from Food Commission Chair Shirley Spear that the Commission's five objectives for the next decade are: that everyone in Scotland has ready access to healthy, nutritious food; that diet related diseases in Scotland are in decline; that the environmental impact of our food consumption and production are reduced; that food companies are a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work; and that everyone in Scotland takes a keen interest in their food, knows what constitutes good food, values it and seeks it out whenever they can.

Mr Lochhead said:

"The Scottish food and drink industry is of enormous economic importance and will be providing many secure jobs for future generations. We need that success to benefit the many – including producers and people in our communities – who don't always have access to the type of healthy, nutritious food that's grown in our country.

"We need ambition from our food, drink and hospitality industries to tackle the challenges of health, sustainability and economic prosperity, and support Scotland to become a Good Food Nation. That is what the Food Commission is asking of the sector and I wholeheartedly support this call. This extends to supermarkets, foodservice and retailers to promote and serve delicious Scottish ingredients, and to the public themselves to embrace the changes.

"There is already great work happening within our communities, with a growing network of farm shops and farmers' markets which is already creating successful outcomes. Every effort will be worthwhile in the long-term and I would encourage this to continue to be championed at local, regional and national levels."

Shirley Spear, chair of the Scottish Food Commission, said:

"It has been an absolute privilege to sit on the Scottish Food Commission this past year, and I have taken it upon myself to become as informed about the main issues as possible – it has been an eye-opening experience for me and has contributed enormously to my current stance on the diet, health and well-being of Scottish people, and how this affects our whole society.

"The Food Commission has concluded that a nationwide movement for change must become established and maintained over a start-up period of 10 years, in order to establish generational turnaround. This movement for change must include everyone and be developed at every single level – no single section of our population is blameless and everyone should look towards improving their own food choices and assisting others to do the same.

"We have put much thought into creating our Vision for 2025, with five key objectives and a framework of indicators to help us get there. We need to change the attitude of the population as a whole – we have done it in the past and we can do it again. I believe that food should be enjoyed so let's embrace family life, home-building, fun and friendship into this policy and encourage others within our communities, with understanding of their needs."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Food Commission's Interim Report to Scottish Government Ministers can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Food-Industry/national-strategy/good-food-nation/foodcommission/FoodCommissionReports