Food and drink education
We want Scotland's young people to know where their food comes from and how it affects their health, the environment and the economy.
To achieve this, we have invested around £5 million in food education projects between 2010 and 2017 (£876,000 over 2016 and 2017). We published an evaluation of our food education programme's success from 2012 to 2015.
Our initiatives are designed to educate young people on all aspects of food and drink, from production to consumption.
We are raising young people's awareness of where their food comes from by funding:
- the Royal Highland Education Trust to get schoolchildren visiting farms
- Crofting Connections to encourage young people in crofting communities to continue the practice
- Seafood Scotland's Seafood in Schools project to teach young people about sustainable seafood production
We are supporting the delivery of other food and drink education by:
- funding Education Scotland to support effective teaching about food as part of the school curriculum, as well as its Food for Thought Education Fund to support food education projects linking schools and industry
- providing funding for Food and the Environment teaching programmes at Scottish schools participating in the international Eco-Schools programme
- providing guidance on improving school food and food education for schools, local authorities, caterers, procurement departments and parents
- providing guidance for partnerships between schools and the food and drink industry
- funding the Chefs@School project to encourage food industry professionals to work with teachers to deliver engaging food and drink education, such as cookery demonstrations
We are part-funding the Scottish Food and Drink Federation's schools programme to help young people learn about food and drink career opportunities through experiences within the industry.
As well as teaching young people about food and drink, we are working to ensure the food and drink they consume at school is healthy and of a high quality. Information on current efforts is available at Engage for Education: Food in Schools.
We help fund the Soil Association's Food for Life catering mark programme to encourage school caterers to improve the quality of their food (providing £300,000 over 2016/17).
The Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) Act 2007 sets high nutritional standards for all food and drink provided in schools.
We have published the following guidance to assist local authorities, schools and caterers in providing healthy and high-quality food for school children: