Good Food Nation policy

Good Food Nation – policy and vision

We published the national food and drink policy Becoming a Good Food Nation in 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.”

In 2020 Scottish Ministers remain committed to the concept and reality of achieving our vision of Scotland as a Good Food Nation where:

  • 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

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
  • ensuring food companies are a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work
  • 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, via a combination of non-legislative and legislative means. 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.  

The Programme for Government 2019 to 2020 contained a commitment to bring forward a Good Food Nation Bill in this parliamentary term and work was well underway to prepare the Bill for introduction.

The timing of the introduction of the Good Food Nation Bill has been affected by the need for parliamentary time to debate and implement emergency COVID-19 legislation and will not now be introduced in this parliamentary term. 

Achieving the Good Food Nation vision - Programme for Government commitments 

A number of Programme for Government commitments since 2018 have set out how we are working to achieve our Good Food Nation vision: 

2018 to 2019

The Programme for Government 2018 to 2019 committed to seeking views on new and developing proposals and actions and what legislative measures might be required to underpin our Good Food Nation ambition. 

To meet this commitment The Good Food Nation proposals for legislation consultation was published in December 2018 which included our proposals around the Good Food Nation ambition.

The consultation closed on 18 April 2019 and the Good Food Nation Proposals for Legislation: analysis of consultation responses was published on 11 September 2019. All feedback and responses from the consultation were analysed and informed the further development of our plans for policy action and legislation.

The 2018 to 2019 Programme also 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. To meet this commitment we published a programme of measures, setting out the wide range of actions already underway and planned across Government, on 11 September 2018.

2019 to 2020

The Programme for Government 2019 to 2020 committed to introducing a Good Food Nation Bill in the current parliamentary term, however due to the rescheduled parliamentary timetable to necessitate the tabling of emergency COVID-19 legislation, the Good Food Nation Bill cannot be tabled in this parliamentary term. 

The 2019 to 2020 Programme also said we would publish a progress report on our work to deliver our ambition to become a Good Food Nation. An updated Programme of Measures 2019 was published on 21 November 2019, meeting a 2019 to 2020 Programme for Government commitment to provide an update on the wide range of actions underway and planned across government to meet our Good Food Nation ambitions.   

We also committed in the 2019 to 2020 Programme to set up a Ministerial Working Group on Food to co-ordinate action in relation to food and drink matters across government. The first meeting took place on 14 January 2020.