Local food for everyone

Closed 2 Dec 2021

Opened 20 Aug 2021

Overview

image of a variety of fruit and vegetables

Scotland has some of the best food and drink in the world, enjoyed around the globe and creating jobs the length and breadth of the country. Since 2007 the Scottish Government has dramatically improved the landscape for food in Scotland, from school lunches to whisky exports, from allotment provision to agricultural innovation.

The people of Scotland deserve to have access to the best produce Scotland has to offer, whether they’re growing it themselves, buying it directly from a local producer,  choosing it at a convenience store or supermarket, being served it at school, or in any number of other settings. Low income should not be a barrier to a healthy, balanced diet.

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change. More and more, people want to know where their food has come from – who made it, what conditions animals were kept in, how far it has travelled and how it supports local jobs and investment. Local food can offer a lot of the answers.

We have worked with the public, industry and other organisations to make sure our policies deliver for the communities we serve. Ambition 2030, the Good Food Nation policy and the Agriculture Bill set out our aspirations for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation, driving environmentally-sustainable, inclusive growth and making sure everyone can afford a healthy, pleasurable diet.

We want to go further. Local production has enormous potential to enrich lives, improve diets, reduce food miles and keep value in communities. This consultation is a chance to make sure that we’re learning from others, adopting good practice, and removing the barriers that are stopping people growing, using, choosing or buying Scottish food at every opportunity.

Additionally, the SNP manifesto for the 2021 election made a commitment to support the development of vertical, low carbon farms, fuelled by renewable energy, to produce more of our own fruit and vegetables. Given the relevance to local food production, we are also taking the opportunity to seek views on vertical farming within this consultation.

Why your views matter

Part A of this consultation presents the three pillars of the Scottish Government’s local food strategy - connecting people with food; connecting Scottish producers with buyers; and harnessing public sector procurement. It aims to start a conversation about local food in Scotland, inviting contributions about how everyone involved in food in Scotland could work together to build a food system based around quality local production and short and circular supply chains, to make high quality Scottish produce available to all.

Part B of this consultation provides an overview of vertical farming, a technology which may be able to help Scotland increase its local food production and bring food production closer to the consumer. The consultation contains questions on vertical farming which are primarily focused at people and businesses in the food supply chain, as well as inviting suggestions on other technologies which would help Scotland produce more of its own fruit and vegetables.

The responses to this consultation will be analysed and used to inform future policy.  

Read the consultation paper. 

What happens next

The consultation has now closed. Thank you for your input. We will be assessing the feedback received from respondents and will publish a revised document summarising the results of the consultation and setting out a plan to invigorate Scotland’s local food landscape.

Interests

  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Economy
  • Farming and Rural
  • Public Sector