The Scottish Government is to target caterers in its attempts to develop a food policy for Scotland.
Richard Lochhead, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, told Caterersearch at a conference today in Edinburgh that he was having meetings in the next few months with the heads of large catering organisations.
Lochhead said: "Getting the catering industry involved is essential in the development of a successful policy of improving food delivery in Scotland."
However when challenged that change would only occur among caterers if additional funds were made available, he said:
"This is a challenging debate and I am optimistic about the way forward particularly with the increased emphasis on using local supplies and reducing our dependence on imported food."
Lochhead was one of the speakers at a conference in Edinburgh looking at Food policy for Scotland, which aims to unify and localise the process of food delivery by bringing together farmers, processors, wholesalers and food outlets.
Two-Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles Hotel told delegates that "food in this country is too cheap".
"We have all got used to not paying for food and the highly industrialised food production process keeps prices artificially low," said Fairlie.
Fairlie said that by developing and utilising better quality local produce the eating experience would improve in Scotland.
Reponses to Scotland's national discussion on food can be submitted until 25 April. Go to www.scotland.gov.uk for more information.
By Colin Wright
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