HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Peter Peacock is calling on the Scottish government to reverse a decision which has snubbed the local food and drink industry.
It follows the announcement last week by rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead that the members of a new food and drink forum which will lead Scottish food policy will not include a single representative from the Highlands and Islands.
Mr Peacock has now written to the minister urging him to take steps to reverse the decision.
He said: “The food and drink industry is a vital part of the economy and life of the Highlands and Islands. The area is a major player in this industry and is home to a very significant proportion of Scotland’s iconic and quality produce.
“It is untenable that the next stages of the national food and drink policy can be properly formulated without the experience and expertise from this vital part of the country’s industry.
“It is particularly offensive that the Scottish government does not seem to have recognised that the leaders of the Highlands and Islands food industry have the experience and expertise which would benefit of the whole of Scotland.
“I would urge the minister to rectify this snub to the Highland industry and select someone from the many appropriate experts the area has to offer.”