Seven-year diet comes to an end ...

Mike Small was the leading light in the project which put Fife on the food map.
Mike Small was the leading light in the project which put Fife on the food map.

An award-winning Burntisland-based project which encouraged people to eat locally-sourced food and to cut down on the carbon footprint of consumption is coming to an end.

The Fife Diet, which has been running for the past seven years, will finish at the end of March 2015.

Mike Small - who launched the project in 2007 encouraging locals to eat food sourced only from Fife for a year - said there were a lot of reasons, ‘both personal and political’, for the scheme finally folding.

The project’s members took the decision at its AGM in February, backing the board’s proposal to go ahead with the move.

Mr Small said: “We decided we didn’t want to be endlessly reliant on grant funding and we wanted to try and create new and self-reliant projects as offshoots of the Fife Diet.

“A lot has changed since we launched in 2007. On the positive side local food groups are now common up and down the land and there’s been a sea change in positivity about Scottish produce and food culture.

“That’s been a remarkable and transformative process.”

Mr Small said consciousness about food and health has taken a quantum leap with popularity and trust in big supermarkets being ‘severely undermined’.

He explained: “The surge in growing your own food has been massive and perhaps most exciting, the land reform proposals are a potentially massive opportunity for democratising land and food in this country. So there are lots and lots to be positive about.”

But at a structural level he said little has changed: “The Scottish Government’s food policy seems woefully biased towards exports as the golden goal, food education seems marginal and ill-conceived and there appears to be no coherent strategy to connect food production to carbon reduction.”

Mr Small said food poverty has also played a part: “Foodbanks have emerged to have become an accepted part of our society.

“Who needs ‘sustainability’ or cares about climate change when they’re hungry?”

But he thanked members for taking part in the Fife Diet scheme adding: “It’s been an amazing project.”