Part 1 – Good Food Nation Policy - How We Got to Where We Are Now
The National Food and Drink Policy – Becoming a Good Food Nation was published in 2014. The policy set a new and exciting vision for Scotland, by 2025, to 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.
The Good Food Nation vision recognised that change is required to achieve this ambitious aim. The aim was to work to ensure that:
- 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 develop this policy, a non-statutory Scottish Food Commission was established in 2015 to provide advice on the existing and future challenges facing Scotland's food culture and how these might be addressed. The Food Commission was also tasked with advocating the importance of good food to our health and wellbeing, environment and quality of life.
It was recognised that legislation might be one way to achieve the culture shift required to help Scotland become a Good Food Nation. The Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2017-18 therefore included a commitment to "consult on proposals for the Good Food Nation Bill. The Food Commission worked hard 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 inform the public consultation.
The Food Commission used the considerable output from the Summit, together with knowledge from deliberations of the Food Commission over its lifetime, to develop recommendations for a Good Food Nation Bill. These recommendations were submitted to Scottish Government in December 2017 and have informed the development of this Programme.
There is no doubt that our circumstances have changed since 2014. Brexit in particular has created unwelcome uncertainty, particularly around food. Ensuring we have the right aims supporting our vision for a Good Food Nation will help us to minimise the potential disruption of Brexit in this key policy area. So we will revisit and, where appropriate, review our aims and vision to ensure our progress is protected.