13 September 2016
Rhoda Grant : To ask the Scottish Government when it will put in place the £5 million fund to promote island and regional food and drink brands referred to on page 26 of the 2016 SNP manifesto.
Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support the food and drink industry, which has achieved great success in recent years. We are considering options of how to target the £5 million investment fund so that it has the greatest impact in supporting the growth of the Scottish food and drink sector and support of rural communities, and will set out our plans by spring 2017.
Rhoda Grant :To ask the Scottish Government what plans are in place to appoint the national chef referred to on page 26 of the 2016 SNP manifesto.
Fergus Ewing: We are currently considering options to deliver the commitment to appoint a National Chef. In doing so we will consult with stakeholders including the Scottish Food Commission who have a key role in advocating the importance of good food to Scotland’s health and wellbeing, environment and quality of life.
Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its commitment at page 26 of the SNP manifesto, how it will encourage local authorities to procure Scottish produce.
Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide the details of its plans to introduce the joint food industry supply-chain and public sector procurement taskforce referred to at page 26 of the SNP manifesto, including how the group will be constituted
Fergus Ewing: The public sector in Scotland has made good progress increasing their sourcing of Scottish produce through their catering contracts with an estimated 40% increase since 2007. We are now in discussion with local authorities, and other parts of the public sector, to agree how we can work together to increase this further, including through the proposed joint industry/public sector taskforce.