Covid-19 and the future of Scotland's food
Covid-19 and future food
The coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the insecurities in our food system. But it’s also shown us the capacity of policymakers to make huge changes fast. As we look towards a green recovery from Covid-19, we must not lose sight of the climate and nature emergencies that still threaten our future food security.
In this section we look at how Scotland’s farmers, food suppliers, and public sector bodies have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. We hear from producers who have ‘turned on a sixpence’ to launch a direct selling business, and local authorities who have continued to prioritise sourcing food from local suppliers. As we do, we start to ask what this crisis means for the future of Scotland’s food.
Can we eat our way to a green recovery?
Aoife Behan, Director of Soil Association Scotland, considers what food security could look like for Scotland in the wake of the pandemic.
The Food Producers
Read about how Scotland’s farmers and growers are adapting to the coronavirus crisis, from bringing back forgotten Scottish food varieties to starting online sales.
Peelham Farm, Berwickshire
Farmer Denise Walton has replaced all lost restaurant and farmers’ market income with direct sales after receiving an ‘avalanche’ of orders for organic meat through their website.
Locavore Market Garden, Glasgow
Organic produce business Locavore had to close its cafés, but saw a surge in custom at their organic supermarket and for veg boxes as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Growing routes to market
70% of apples we eat in the UK are imported, a market estimated to be worth around £230m. This farmer-led RISS group is working to bring commercial apple growing back to Scotland.
Net zero Arran
Farmers on Arran have begun working together to reduce the carbon footprint of the island. In a time of crisis, they’re eyeing the commercial advantages of solid environmental credentials.
Woodside Farm, Arran
Woodside Farm have been supplying local food to their community on the island of Arran throughout lockdown - and their work has been supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Building local food hubs
Listen back to our online discussion with Rosie Jack of Bowhouse market, Fife, and Nick Weir of the Open Food Network about practical and community elements of short supply chains.
The Food Suppliers
As lockdown forced the closure of schools, universities, and restaurants across the country, many of Scotland's food suppliers and wholesalers saw the majority of their business vanish overnight. Find out how they have responded to the crisis, setting up new business models and reaching new markets in record time.
The Food Procurers
Scotland's public sector spends almost £150 million every year on food and drink. Its power to support local, sustainable food through procurement has never been more important. Read more about how local authorities are prioritising local food supply during the pandemic.