SUPERMARKETS should be encouraged to create specific shelves or aisles for produce generated in their local area, it is claimed.

The call has been issued by the Scottish Conservatives, who are keen to see major retailers pointing customers to fresh food and drink made locally, supporting nearby smaller firms in the process.

Brian Whittle, the party’s wellbeing and sport spokesman, said the change would be easy for supermarkets to make, expanding options for customers and encouraging healthier consumption.

He added: “Most major supermarkets have sections showcasing food from around the world, so there’s no reason why this can’t be replicated specifically for local produce.

The Gazette: Brian Whittle MSP

Brian Whittle is backing the idea 

“It would signpost people to where they can get food and drink made in their local area, which will be popular among those passionate about supporting small, local businesses.

“A local produce aisle would also give consumers the chance to support local firms without losing the convenience of being able to buy a range of products under one roof.

“With some government support and the goodwill of major retailers, there’s no reason why this cannot become a reality.”