Rural Exchange

Local Food in Scotland Report

There has been a growing interest in local food economies in Scotland (and the rest of UK and Europe) since the early 2000s. There is renewed interest in local and regional food, stimulated by the resilience shown by the sector during a prolonged period of turbulence in food supplies caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis – including impacts from the war in Ukraine.

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands,   recognises that the “food and drink industry is an essential component of Scotland’s cultural identity and a significant contributor to our economy." Launched in 2023, Sustaining Scotland, Supplying the World: Scotland’s Food and Drink Strategy  has ambitious growth targets for international food and drink exports but  also acknowledges the growing demand for local products in local markets.

We find that the role of local and regional foods is a topic that is under-researched, with definitional issues that means statistical profiling of the sector and its economic impact remain challenging. We therefore looked at definitions of local food, the reported advantages and disadvantages of local food, perceived barriers to local food production, and ways of measuring local food production.

We explored why it is important to have agreed definitions if the economic contribution of local and regional food economies is to be assessed. We also provide an overview of existing statistical data on the food and drink sector in Scotland, identifying data challenges and gaps.

Further Reading

More within the Local Food in Scotland Report project

img

Supporting New Rural Support Scheme

Evidence to Support Development of a New Rural Support Scheme for Scotland: A summary of written outputs.

The NISRIE...[more]

img

Local Food in Scotland Report

There has been a growing interest in local food economies in Scotland (and the rest of UK...[more]


Warning: Undefined array key "HTTP_REFERER" in /var/www/vhosts/ruralexchange.scot/httpdocs/live2/assets/php/body_footer.php on line 152