'Sustainability', the buzz word in European Commission corridors and a focal point of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), has a key role in a new initiative launched by retailer ASDA for a string of Scottish stores.
The latest phase in ASDA's local sourcing programme 'Scotland's Best' range consists of over 70 new products sourced from 22 new suppliers. According to the company, whether it is Killie Pie in Kilmarnock or Arran ice-cream in Ayr, all local tastes and delicacies have been accounted for.
Karen Todd, ASDA's local sourcing manager said: "This isn't just window-dressing, there is a sound business reason why retailers should take local products more seriously - we've estimated a £160 million pound business opportunity a year nationally.
Local products have been the number one request from customers over the last year and we are sure that the Scotland's Best range will satisfy this need and go straight to the top of our customers shopping lists."
ASDA has already launched the Best of Cornwall and the West Country range. The company boasts that the local products have become the number one seller in their category, often outperforming big brand names.
To encourage local producers and suppliers is to breathe life into the local community. In particular, this is arguably an efficient way to protect, and encourage, the local food culture.