Good Food Nation - programme of measures: 2019 update

A report on the progress made on Scotland's Good Food Nation ambitions.

5. Prosperity


The vision is for food companies to be a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work. It is for people who serve and sell food – from schools to hospitals, retailers, cafes and restaurants – to be committed to serving and selling good food. The vision is also for Scotland to be a world leader whose success makes Scotland a destination of choice for those who value quality local food and a place to whom other countries turn in order to learn how to become a Good Food Nation.

Highlighted Prosperity measures setting out action we have taken to achieve the vision since 2018:

Food and drink exports

2018 position: Scotland's food and drink exports have been increasing year on year since 2007 and are now worth a record £6 billion.

We want to continue this momentum and seek to get more of our businesses exporting to more markets across the world.

2019 update: Scottish Food and Drink Exports were worth a record £6.3 billion in 2018.

A new £4.5 million collaborative Scotland Food & Drink Export plan was published in June 2019, supported by £2.7 million from Scottish Government and remaining contributions split equally between Scottish Development International and industry.

The plan will continue the existence of in-market specialists in key markets throughout the globe and look to enhance engagement carried out through global trade shows and engagement with other key global stakeholders.

Showcasing Scotland

2018 position: A Showcasing Scotland regional programme of events has been developed to help meet growing demand for local products in local markets.

2019 update: A large showcasing Scotland event took place at Gleneagles in October 2019 with 150 UK and International buyers meeting with 150 Scottish suppliers.

Rural funding transition period

2018 position: Scottish Government completed its consultation on the document "Stability and Simplicity: proposals for a rural funding transition period" in 2018 and results were being analysed.

2019 update: The Scottish Government set out its proposals for future agriculture funding in its June 2018 consultation 'Stability and Simplicity: Proposals for a rural funding transition period' with an approach that follows four principles of stability, simplicity, sustainability and security.

The Government response to the Stability and Simplicity consultation sets out a five-year transition period to provide people in rural businesses with as much security as possible. During this time, the Scottish Government intends to broadly retain the current support schemes for active farming, food production, environmental improvements, forestry and rural development, currently delivered by CAP Pillar 1 and Pillar 2. However, we are also looking at whether processes can be simplified and streamlined while working to identify improvements that deliver efficiencies and better outcomes.

The approach sets out two phases:

  • A period of stability, with little change to the current system, until the end of 2020, followed by;
  • A period of simplicity, where simplifications and improvements will be made, and potential new schemes for longer term policy will be piloted, between 2021 – 2024.

A Farming and Food Production Future Policy Group[33] has been established to advise on future policies for Scotland post-2024.

Food and drink industry – Ambition 2030

2018 position: The Government continues to work in partnership with the industry to deliver Ambition 2030, the new food and drink strategy for Scotland. Published in 2018, the strategy set an ambition to double the value of the sector to £30 billion by the year 2030.

2019 update: Food and Drink sector turnover and exports are both at record levels and on track to meet 2030 growth targets. For example, since April 2018 Seafood Scotland have delivered 25 projects and events in 10 countries and 18 cities across the globe. The 3 seafood specific trade shows Seafood Scotland co-ordinated resulted in approximately £102.8m sales generated, 883 new contacts generated and 310 new customers identified. A new programme of activity is being considered for post March 2020.

Food and drink sector plans

2018 position: The Government is working in partnership with the food and drink industry to develop a series of sector specific action plans to drive forward growth across the sectors.

2019 update: The first national sector strategies were launched for the food tourism, pigs, fruit and vegetable, venison, brewing and seafood industry sectors, targeting over £1.8 billion in growth. Other sector strategies which are in development include strategies for the dairy and beef sectors.

Mainstreaming Rural Policy

2018 position: We appointed the National Council of Rural Advisors to recommend future actions to sustain a vibrant and flourishing rural economy.

2019 update: Our Economic Action Plan, first published in October 2018, takes forward specific actions that enhance businesses, places and the lives of people in rural Scotland.

More than 90% of the recommendations made by the National Council of Rural Advisers are being delivered through national programmes of work. Many have been included and committed to within the Economic Action Plan.

Sustainable growth and environmental impacts for the aquaculture industry

2018 position: The need to strike an appropriate balance between the sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry and the associated environmental impacts is recognised.

2019 update: The Scottish Government's response to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee report on Salmon Farming in Scotland (29 January 2019) included, as part of any future request for planning advice, that Marine Scotland will expect a condition requiring an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to be delivered for any consents for marine aquaculture planning applications (when there is, or there is potential for, wild/farmed salmon interaction).

In July we updated local authorities and industry that Marine Scotland's screening and scoping responses will advise what we would expect EMPs to include (as a minimum), should the applicant submit a planning application. Consultation responses will also confirm whether these areas have been included in an EMP.

Regulatory framework for aquaculture sustainable growth

2018 position: The Scottish Government and its agencies are working with the sector, and with others, to develop a policy and regulatory framework that enables sustainable growth while maintaining the right balance across our economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

2019 update: Our Technical Working Group has been tasked with developing a practical framework for assessing the sea lice loading and management requirements, taking account of the best available scientific understanding and the precautionary principle. The group comprises experts from the regulators - Marine Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage and representatives of local authorities.

It is intended that this framework will underpin future planning advice. Through the framework, adaptive management based on enhanced monitoring will create an enabling environment for encouraging further aquaculture development where impacts can be mitigated.

Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund

2018 position: Provision of support to a range of collaborative projects under the SRDP's Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund delivers innovative projects that aim to improve efficiency, enhance profitability, improve habitats and optimise environmental performance.

2019 update: 27 projects have been funded to date with £5.5 million of grant funding awarded.

Sea lice reporting

2018 position: In June this year, industry began publishing site level sea lice data and fulfilled a commitment made under the framework to move to proactive and open reporting of mortality information – a pioneering approach in the farming sector.

2019 update: A review of Scotland's farmed fish sea lice policy was a priority action for Scottish Government which was included in Scotland's 10 Year Farmed Fish Health Framework (published in 2018).

Outcomes of the review included:

  • The introduction of legislation in 2020 that will require all marine farms to report a weekly sea lice number to Scottish Government;
  • Reduction of the reporting and intervention thresholds in lice on adult female fish from June 2019;
  • A commitment, unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary, to a further reduction of intervention thresholds in lice on adult female fish in 2021;
  • That we will explore the establishment of independent sea lice count checks.



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