Ensuring everyone in Scotland can access nutritious, sustainable food is at the heart of new plans to transform the country’s food system.
The Good Food Nation Plan sets out the ways in which the Scottish Government will work with businesses and organisations across society to help connect people to locally produced, high-quality food.
The Plan will cover everything from farm to fork and beyond, and draw together a range of different policies. It will also require key public bodies, particularly local authorities and health boards, to set out their plans.
Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade Minister Richard Lochhead launched the consultation during a visit to City of Glasgow College where he helped National Chef Gary Maclean and catering students prepare a Burns Supper.
Mr Lochhead said, “This week the world will celebrate Burns Night which contributes to a thriving food culture and interest in Scottish cuisine. Supermarkets will offer Scottish dishes to shoppers, and many will use Scottish ingredients to prepare their traditional Burns Suppers. In a Good Food Nation, this celebration of good quality and sustainable Scottish produce will be the norm. People across the nation will be able to easily access high quality food and drink, and will benefit from the food they produce, buy, cook and eat each day.
“We have come far in this journey but we recognise that more needs to be done. That’s why we are seeking views on our fresh approach to food policy to make this vision for our food system a reality.”
Pete Ritchie, an organic farmer and the Director of Nourish Scotland was less enthusiastic. He said, “The Scottish Government is not short of ambition when it comes to transforming Scotland’s food system – but it does lack a plan of how to deliver it. In it’s current form the Good Food Nation Plan is a summary of government’s existing policies, with many targets referring to baselines set in the previous decade. It does not respond to the pressing and worsening impacts the food system has on our climate, biodiversity and health inequalities.
“As it stands, the Good Food Nation Plan does not live up to its name.”
The consultation on the national Good Food Nation Plan has been published on the Scottish Government website and on Citizen Space. The consultation will be open for responses until Monday 22 April 2024.
The Good Food Nation plan builds upon the framework of the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Act 2022. This enshrines into law the Scottish Government’s commitment to Scotland becoming a Good Food Nation.
The food and drink industry is a major contributor to Scotland’s economy: over 17,000 businesses employ 129,000 people, many in economically fragile rural and island communities. The sector generates turnover of around £15 billion per annum, and exports of Scottish food and drink were valued at £8.1 billion in 2022.