Plans to increase the use of locally sourced and produced food in schools have been welcomed by Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson.

The Scottish Government has committed £1.2million over the next three years to expand the Food for Life programme to schools in all local authority areas.

The scheme, which already operates in 11 out of 32 councils, encourages school caterers to improve the quality of their food and use more Scottish produce.

Mr Matheson said: “I fully support the expansion of the Food for Life programme to local schools, because this is clearly a win-win situation for pupils and Scottish producers.

“Putting local sourcing at the heart of public sector supply chains means more children will get to enjoy fresh, healthy and locally sourced food at school, and at the same time it will stimulate demand for Scotland’s high-quality produce.”

The Scottish Government will also encourage hospitals and other public sector organisations to source more local produce as part of wide-ranging efforts to double the value of the country’s thriving food and drink industry to £30billion by 2030.

Another measure will see £100,000 being made available to deliver a supplier development programme, which will help small and medium-sized food and drink businesses to compete for public sector food contracts.