Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 13:28 UK

Saltire labels for local produce

Aileen Campbell MSP visits Simple Simon's Pies near Biggar
Local food producers could benefit from the Saltire scheme

A scheme which would see shoppers rewarded for buying home-grown food products has been suggested by a South of Scotland MSP.

Aileen Campbell MSP outlined her proposals for a Saltire labelling scheme at the SNP's spring conference.

It would be based on an initiative in Ireland where customers earn loyalty points for buying products identified by a Shamrock mark.

Ms Campbell said such a move could help boost local farmers and food producers.

As part of the scheme, products made in Scotland would be labelled with a Saltire symbol.

When a customer bought them a Saltire mark would also be printed on the receipt and extra loyalty points would be awarded.

Ms Campbell has called on farmers, food producers, grocers, supermarkets and the Scottish Government to work together to explore the possibility of introducing such a scheme.

She has highlighted a number of Clydesdale businesses that would benefit from the labelling initiative including Borders Biscuits in Lanark, Simple Simon's Pies in Coulter near Biggar, and Braehead Farm near Carnwath, home of Lanark Blue cheese.

We need to make full use of Scotland's magnificent larder if we are to promote health eating, cut food miles and boost the economy during this downturn
Aileen Campbell MSP

She said: "Scottish produce, and especially that from the Clydesdale area, is some of the best in the world and we are seeing increasing efforts by supermarkets and grocers to stock locally produced food.

"As we feel the impact of the UK recession, offering rewards for the purchase of Scottish produce could help keep shoppers focused on buying Scotland's best and support Scotland's farmers and food producers through difficult times.

"Introducing a further incentive to buy local could be a real shot in the arm for Scotland's farmers."

She added: "With food producers supporting Scotland's Homecoming and increasing emphasis on the quality that comes with much Scottish produce the time is right to reward shoppers and producers through this scheme.

"We need to make full use of Scotland's magnificent larder if we are to promote health eating, cut food miles and boost the economy during this downturn."



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