THE SCOTTISH Parliament was the venue for a farmers’ market last week, when Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don, hosted the event to help raises awareness about the benefits associated with supporting local producers.
The farmers market featured butchers, bakers, cheese mongers, a microbrewery, a fruit wine producer, and a specialist fish smoker.
The event, which was attended by MSPs from constituencies across Scotland, was heralded as a success by producers who participated as well as those who attended.
On Thursday, April 18, Mr. Don led a debate with his colleagues about the need to support Scottish food and drink producers and the environmental, economic and community benefits that come from buying locally.
Mr. Don said: “I was delighted to host the farmers market in the Scottish Parliament this week to raise awareness with my colleagues about the importance of supporting local food and drink producers.
“It is good to have the opportunity to do all of our shopping from local folk. By buying from shops and farmers markets in our own community, we can collectively contribute to the Scottish economy, and reduce the mileage that our food travels and CO2 emissions derived from food production.
“The good news is that in the wake of the horse meat scandal, local butchers have seen an increase in sales. With fine products in our own backyard, why would we want to import?”
Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, said: “I commend Nigel Don for organising the Scottish Parliament’s first Farmers Market which showcased the fantastic range of high quality food and drink produce available from a wide range of producers across the country.
“I thoroughly enjoyed attending the market and speaking to the producers and retailers who took time out of their busy schedules to hold this event.
“Scotland’s food and drink industry is a real success story – and the passion for producing an excellent product is an absolutely key part of that success and will continue to be essential as we move forward and seek to further expand our markets.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to support our local producers who are such a key part of Scotland’s economy.”