A boost for food education was dished up today, with help for every pupil to learn more about the food on their plate.
Speaking at Scotland’s National Food and Drink Conference in Perth, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead pledged £2 million over three years so that every Scottish school child understands more about the food they eat and how it impacts on their health and on the environment.
An expert group, made up of industry and education representatives, will steer the three-year programme and provide advice on attracting private investment to add further value.
The fresh focus on food education will help tens of thousands of young people make informed choices about the food they eat, by ensuring:
- More opportunities for children to use farms, fishing and food companies to learn about their health, the environment and their relationship with food
- Pupils develop an understanding of Scotland’s growing food and drink industry and the career options available – wherever their skills lie across the curriculum
- It is easier than ever before for teachers to use food as a topic in Curriculum for Excellence
- Private companies are encouraged to invest in food education, either financially or in kind
The beneficiaries of today’s funding include:
- The Royal Highland Education Trust who will help youngsters learn where their food comes from through organising 36 food and farming days and 36 schools farmers markets, benefiting more than 6,000 youngsters
- Seafood Scotland who will support schools to develop projects around seafood which around 60,000 pupils are expected to benefit from
- The Scottish Food and Drink Federation’s Future of Food scheme which will work with around 10,000 pupils to inspire them, help them make the connection with the food on their plates, what they are learning in school and encourage them to consider a career in food and drink.