Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 16:45 UK

Superstores join Scots food talks

Haggis
The supermarket summit discussed the importance of Scots produce

A supermarket summit has taken place in Edinburgh looking at ways of ensuring the public has access to Scotland's "finest freshest food".

First Minister Alex Salmond said he hoped it could have economic and health benefits for the country.

Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, the Co-op and Somerfield were all represented.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said it was committed to backing "the Scottish market and Scottish produce".

Last week two BBC reporters in southern Scotland attempted to live on only food produced in their region for a week.

The difficulties they encountered sparked a worldwide debate via email about the importance of local food.

MEASURES AGREED BY THE SUPERMARKET SUMMIT
A retail forum to be formed to achieve the "freshest, finest future for Scottish produce"
A 50% reduction target on carrier bag use by spring 2009
Consideration given to how to support the 2009 Year of Homecoming

Mr Salmond also tried a similar experiment by eating only Scottish food for a week earlier this year.

"I want to help make sure people across Scotland can continue to enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable produce," he said.

"By promoting Scottish produce we can add to Scotland's economic resilience while supporting a healthier future."

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the issue of local food was one of increasing importance.

"It is timely we should meet to discuss these important issues as we continue to develop our first national food and drink policy," he said.

"We are highly aware there is a growing interest in the provenance of what we eat.

"People want to know where their food comes from, how it was grown and the impact production has had on the environment."

Fiona Moriarty, director of the SRC, said the meeting had seen "high level engagement" from the UK retail sector.

"Involvement at this level confirms the sector's commitment to the Scottish economy and clearly demonstrates the importance we attach to the Scottish market and Scottish produce," she said.


SEE ALSO
Scots food sparks global debate
17 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day seven: living on local foods
17 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day six: living on local foods
15 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day five: living on local foods
15 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day four: living on local foods
14 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day three: living on local foods
13 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day two: living on local foods
12 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Day one: living on local foods
10 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
Just how good is local food?
09 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland

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