Part 3 – Legislation
Possibilities for legislation
The Programme of Measures set out in Part 2 of this paper sets out all the actions currently underway or in development on key issues relevant to the Good Food Nation agenda. Delivery of this Programme – whether in social justice, health, education or elsewhere in Government - is the crucial factor in achievement of the Good Food Nation vision.
It is also important that we know and understand what works: building an appropriate evidence base will form part of our next steps, to inform future action, including to legislate.
The Good Food Nation concept is new and exciting but it is also undeniably complex and challenging. Scottish Ministers recognise that some legislation might be required to underpin this work but we believe that any such legislation should be simple and clear, with a focus on a straightforward framework placing responsibilities on Scottish Ministers and selected public bodies with regard to food.
These responsibilities might revolve around a requirement for statements of policy on food, in line with the principles and practices of the Good Food Nation, and for these to be published, adhered to and reported on. In the case of Scottish Ministers, reporting could be to the Scottish Parliament. The aim would be to ensure an open and, where necessary, joined up approach to delivery of a Good Food Nation in Scotland.
Our expectation now is that any provisions relevant to the Good Food Nation ambition would not be set out in a Good Food Nation Bill but in a wider piece of legislation, most likely a farming and food bill should that be brought forward in this parliamentary term. This would be appropriate for what are expected to be focused and straightforward provisions. The likelihood is that the detail of any framework provisions would be set out in secondary legislation, making it easier to amend and update.
More detailed proposals for legislation will be the subject of a separate consultation in the autumn. Before we consult, we propose to work with the Scottish Parliament to ensure that we have considered the issues and opportunities thoroughly.
The consultation is expected to address the question of the right to food which we appreciate is a subject of keen interest for many with an interest in the Good Food Nation agenda.