Publication - FOI/EIR release

Briefings on food products: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
14 Oct 2020
Briefings on food products: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000088253
Date received: 15 Sep 2020
Date responded: 13 Oct 2020
Information requested

1) Any Scottish Government correspondence from May 2018 to present, either internal or external, concerning the use of British branding on Scottish food and drink products (including but not limited to union jacks and the words ‘British’ and ‘UK’). External correspondence may include that with food or drink producers or supermarkets.

2) Any Scottish Government correspondence from May 2018 to present, either internal or external, concerning lack of Scottish branding on Scottish food and drink products (including but not limited to saltires, lion rampants, and the words ‘Scottish’ and ‘Scots’ and ‘Scotch’). External correspondence may include that with food or drink producers or supermarkets.

Scottish Government correspondence should include: emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone or video calls, texts or instant messages, minutes of meetings, briefings or otherwise from ministers, civil servants, special advisers and other relevant parties.

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a some of the information you have requested because exemptions under 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reason why that exemption applies is explained below.

Reason for not providing information
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to a small amount of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of business mentioned. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, it is outweighed by the public interest in protecting the commercial interests of businesses. All commercial information has been marked as "redacted" in the enclosed correspondence.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. All personal information has been marked as "redacted" in the enclosed correspondence.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG