The president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland has welcomed the launch of the Scotland Loves Local campaign and its power to support the rural economy.
Andrew McCornick agrees the initiative, which encourages shoppers across the country to think local first, can be of major benefit to food producers across the country.
He recently wrote an open letter to all Scottish shoppers to thank them for their support of the union’s members during Covid-19 and urge them to continue backing domestic food producers.
Speaking in support of the new campaign, Mr McCornick said: “As food producers, Scottish farmers, crofters and growers take great pride in what they produce – meeting some of the highest production and welfare standards in the world in order to guarantee the delivery of quality Scottish food and drink to tables throughout the country.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the backing given to Scottish farming, food and drink has been unprecedented and has reinforced that shoppers value healthy, nutritious, local produce and the standards to which it has been grown or reared. It is clear that Scotland Loves Local.
“NFU Scotland is delighted to support this campaign to boost the high street, and with it the butchers, farm shops, greengrocers and hospitality businesses which source from Scotland’s extensive larder. Shopping local means you are supporting all the businesses involved in bringing high-quality produce from farm to fork.”
Scotland Loves Local has been launched by Scotland’s Towns Partnership with the support of the Scottish Government.
It encourages people to support shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in their own communities before thinking of travelling further afield or turning to online retail giants - and to do that responsibly by following all hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, thanked NFUS for its support.
He said: “The impact we can have by thinking local first should not be underestimated. This is particularly true in our rural communities, market towns and the businesses around them. Please, wherever possible, think local first.”
Businesses across the country have been working with Business Improvement Districts, Local Authorities and others to put in place arrangements which mean people can shop locally, but safely. These arrangements include the use of screens, distance markers and signage, the provision of hand sanitizer instore and capacity limits.
All shoppers are being strongly urged to follow Scottish Government hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
For more information about how you can support Scotland Loves Local, click here.