A high-profile PR campaign to woo the Scottish public was launched on Wednesday by NFU Scotland.
Under the banner of “What’s on your plate?”, Scottish shoppers are being enticed to look out for the Scottish label and choose Scottish food and drink.
Features of the campaign include a fleet of liveried taxis in Edinburgh, a dedicated website, leaflets and car stickers. Future plans include a barbecue for members of the Scottish parliament and promotions outside supermarkets. Members are being encouraged to arrange their own promotions in their own areas.
“It’s not a high-cost campaign, but we hope we can encourage more people to think about their food choices and buy Scottish,” said president Jim McLaren.
“By buying Scottish food, consumers not only invest in quality, but help underpin our rural communities and tens of thousands of jobs.”
Members of the union’s board of directors, led by Mr McLaren and vice-president Stewart Wood, donned kilts and wellies for a photo shoot to launch the initiative.
Mr McLaren said shoppers were being encouraged to look for the Scottish label, ask local schools and hospitals about sourcing fresh local produce, shop at farmers’ markets and farm shops, invite their child’s school to arrange a farm visit and buy seasonal food.
“Scotland needs its farmers and those farmers need support from the most important people in the food supply chain – consumers,” he said.
Scotland’s food industry is worth £2.4bn at the farm gate and £7.4bn at retail level. It is estimated that one in 10 jobs in Scotland is dependent on the food industry.
The campaign is also seen as part of the union’s effort to increase membership by pursuing positive action to promote Scottish food.