Scots ask what's on your plate?

NFU Scotland has launched a high profile, national campaign to encourage people to choose Scottish food and drink.

The campaign, entitled "What's on your Plate?", will highlight not only the quality of Scottish food and drink, but the environmental, animal welfare, health and social benefits of buying Scottish.

It aims to encourage people to think about their food choices and the positive impact they can have on the nation.

The project, launched yesterday in a field at the Norton House Hotel, Ingliston, Edinburgh, is being led by farmers from across Scotland, and will involve a range of events from school visits to farms, to information campaigns outside supermarkets and the Scottish Parliament and even barbecue events to show off local produce.

It highlights the five key steps people can take to back the future of Scottish food and farming:

1. Look for the label and choose Scottish

2. Ask your local school or hospital about sourcing fresh local produce

3. Shop at local butchers/grocers/bakers and farmers' markets or farm shops

4. Ask your child's school to arrange a farm visit

5. Buy in season

Jim McLaren, NFUS President, said: "In Scotland, we are generally fortunate enough to be able to take food for granted. But how many of us ever actually think about where the food and drink we are eating has come from and the impact of our choices?

"By buying Scottish food, we don't just invest in quality, we help safeguard our unique habitats and wildlife, tackle the increasing problem of food miles and underpin our rural communities and tens of thousands of jobs.

"The demand for local, Scottish food is already high, but our campaign will ask more people to think about their food choices and to buy Scottish. Hopefully it was also help educate people on the origin of their meals and the efforts that go into producing the ingredients.

"Scotland needs its farmers, and those farmers need support from the most important people within the food supply chain - consumers.

"Small things can make a real difference. Our website and promotional material highlight the top five steps that consumers can take to support Scottish food and farming.

"I very much hope that people the length and breadth of the country embrace this campaign and help us to ensure that the quality food and drink, for which Scotland is famous, continues to grace the dinner plates of the nation. Please sign the pledge on the website and show your support for Scottish food and farming."

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