SCOTLAND COULD learn much from the Nordic countries when it comes to sustainable food production – and lowering the rate of child obesity.

This is the claim of the project manager for the Nordic Food Policy Lab, Mads Frederik Fischer-Møller, who will be speaking at a free public debate on food policy taking place in Edinburgh next month.

Mr Fischer-Møller, who is also senior advisor for food policy for the Nordic Council of Ministers, will be joined by Professor Corinna Hawkes, director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, at the event

organised by Scotland’s Rural College, which is intended to explore what should shape 21st-century food policy, looking at issues of human and animal health; environmental sustainability; human rights and social justice around food availability and quality; as well as international trade and standards.

SRUC’s director of policy and chair of the debate, Professor Sarah Skerratt, said: “Policies have been in place for decades to regulate food production and many aspects of consumption – not only in farming, but also for supermarkets, restaurants, kitchens and so on.

“As the world changes, new food policies are now being debated and developed in Scotland, the UK, in Nordic countries, and across the globe, as our systems of supply-and-demand become increasingly interlinked.

“At this important debate, we’ll look at changes we’re seeing in how our food is produced and think about how policy should be shaped accordingly.”

Mr Fischer-Møller said: “Scotland and the Nordics have very similar terrains and cultures and it is clear there is much we can learn from each other. The Nordics, for example, are often seen as leaders in sustainability and we have the lowest child obesity in Europe. I look forward to discussing what Scotland might be able to learn from Nordic food policy and what ideas we might be able to adopt.”

Prof Hawkes said: “Food offers solutions to so many problems in the world today. At the same time, it’s a world of so many differing opinions and conflicts. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to air and listen to the many views out there.”

The debate, titled 'Give us today our daily bread – but how?' will take place at the Grassmarket Centre, Edinburgh, on Friday February 28 (3.30pm-5pm, followed by a reception until 7pm).

To book a place, visit http://bit.ly/food-debate