An MSP has back called for local produce to be a priority in the planning and cooking of school meals.
The Scottish Government wants the country to be Good Food Nation by 2025 with the timetable for making school meals healthier set for next year.
Now Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has backed calls from NFU Scotland that would see school meals made entirely from fresh Scottish produce wherever possible.
Scotland will become the first part of the UK to set maximum limits for consumption of red processed meat over the course of the school week, which will also reduce exposure to harmful nitrites.
The Scottish Government and local authorities are jointly committed to providing the healthiest food to children and young people.
The MSP said: “Scotland’s produce is known throughout the world as being of the best quality – so it is only right that our pupils are given the opportunity to benefit from locally grown fresh food in their diet as part of their school day.
“We have an ambition in Scotland to halve childhood obesity by 2030, with a strategy in place to reduce exposure to harmful nitrites, reduce the amount of sugar available to pupils in the school day, and ensuring that more fruit and veg are offered as part of school meals. It would be of huge benefit to pupils, local producers and the local economy if this tied in with sourcing produce from what is available locally.
“Not only would prioritising local produce ensure that the food provided was of the freshest quality, but it provides an opportunity to discuss where we source our food with pupils, and allows Scotland’s ambitions to be a Good Food Nation to take a huge step forward in being realised. I would encourage the Scottish Government, and local authorities, to look further into making local produce a priority, and further progress the ambitions we have as a Good Food Nation.”