Good Food Nation policy

We published the national food and drink policy Becoming a Good Food Nationin 2014. The policy set a new vision for Scotland: that by 2025 Scotland will be “a Good Food Nation, where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they produce, buy, cook, serve, and eat each day.”

Good Food Nation proposals for legislation consultation

Scottish Ministers remain committed to the concept and reality of Scotland as a Good Food Nation.

We are working hard to make a real and positive difference to the lives of the people of Scotland by:

  • helping to improve their access to, and understanding of, the benefits of healthy local foods 
  • ensuring sustainability of our wonderful food industry
  • looking to grow Scotland’s reputation as a Good Food Nation from which other countries can learn

We believe we are well on our way to becoming a Good Food Nation, as the programme of measures published in September 2018 demonstrates. Legislation is not the only way to make progress but we recognise that legislation can underpin the work that is already being done to realise our Good Food Nation ambitions.

Reasons for consulting

The Good Food Nation proposals for legislation consultation, was published in December 2018, and includes our proposals around the Good Food Nation ambition.

All feedback and responses from the consultation are currently being analysed and will inform the further development of our plans for policy action and legislation.

The consultation closed on 18 April 2019 with the analysis report due to be published shortly.


The Good Food Nation policy recognised that change was required to achieve this vision, in which:

  • it is the norm for Scots to take a keen interest in their food, knowing what constitutes good food, valuing it and seeking it out whenever they can
  • people who serve and sell food – from schools to hospitals, retailers, cafes and restaurants – are committed to serving and selling good food
  • everyone in Scotland has ready access to the healthy, nutritious food they need
  • dietary-related diseases are in decline, as is the environmental impact of our food consumption.
  • Scottish producers ensure that what they produce is increasingly healthy and environmentally sound.
  • food companies are a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work.
  • other countries look to Scotland to learn how to become a Good Food Nation

To help achieve this vision, the non-statutory Scottish Food Commission was established in 2015 to provide advice on the existing and future challenges facing Scotland’s food culture, and to advise on how these might be addressed.  

The Programme for Government 2017 to 2018 included a commitment to consult on proposals. The Food Commission worked to deliver on its remit, culminating in the Good Food Nation Summit in September 2017, which brought together representatives from different sectors to discuss the potential scope and nature of legislation and to inform the public consultation.

The Food Commission used the considerable output from the Summit, together with knowledge from its deliberations over its lifetime, to develop its recommendations. The Commission submitted its recommendations in December 2017, and held its final meeting in June 2018.

Work to date

  • the Programme for Government 2018 to 2019 included a commitment to publish a Good Food Nation programme in autumn 2018, highlighting progress to date, while also seeking views on new and developing proposals and actions, as well as what legislative measures might be required to achieve our vision
  • we published a programme of measures, setting out the wide range of actions already underway and planned across Government, on 11 September 2018
  • a debate took place in Parliament on 13 September 2018 which discussed the Scottish food and drink industry successes and the progress of Good Food Nation ambitions