Fairer Scotland Duty: Assessment Not Required Declaration
Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill
Directorate: Division: team:
Agriculture and Rural Economy: Food and Drink: Good Food Nation
Policy lead responsible for taking the decision: Tracy McCollin
Rationale for decision
The Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill is a high level Bill that places duties on the Scottish Ministers to set out a national good food nation plan and makes provision as to the effect of that plan. The Scottish Ministers are required to have regard to the plan in the exercise of functions to be specified in secondary legislation. The Bill requires the Scottish Ministers to have regard to certain international instruments when preparing the plan.
The national good food nation plan required by the Bill must set out:
- the main outcomes in respect of food-related issues which the Scottish Ministers want to be achieved in relation to Scotland;
- indicators or other measures by which progress in achieving the outcomes may be assessed; and
- the policies which the Scottish Ministers intend to pursue in order to secure the achievement of the outcomes.
Similar requirements are placed on health boards, local authorities and other public authorities (collectively referred to as "relevant authorities") as may be specified, who are required to publish a good food nation plan and to have regard to that plan when exercising specified functions. They are required to have regard to the Scottish Ministers' national good food nation plan when preparing their own plan.
The good food nation plans may include such other material in relation to food-related issues as the Scottish Ministers or relevant authorities consider appropriate. The Scottish Ministers and relevant authorities are to have regard to the scope for food-related issues to affect outcomes in relation to social and economic wellbeing; the environment;, health; and economic development when determining the content of the good food nation plans. For example, we know that socioeconomic inequalities drive health inequalities. Overweight, obesity and diet related diseases generally increase with deprivation, both for adults and children. Similarly, household food insecurity is driven by insufficient and insecure incomes. By including food insecurity within plans of food policy (prepared both at the national level and by other relevant authorities) and aligning this with other food outcomes, indicators and policies, we anticipate that the plans will help to drive action that reduces prevalence.
The Bill underpins work already being carried out or planned and will ensure that there is a more co-ordinated approach to the setting of main outcomes which Scottish Ministers and certain other bodies want to be achieved in relation to food, and their policies to achieve those outcomes, supported by indicators or other measures to assess progress. This means that when the Scottish Ministers and relevant authorities are exercising certain specified functions in relation to food-related issues there will be a statutory requirement to consider the determined outcomes, indicators and policies set down in good food nation plans. It is therefore intended that the plans will support a more co-ordinated, coherent and joined up approach to delivery of the Good Food Nation ambition in Scotland. This ambition is that by 2025 Scotland is a 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 Bill mainly includes enabling powers, which in themselves will not have an impact on people experiencing social economic disadvantage. Our assessment is that the potential impacts on, and opportunities to improve outcomes for, people experiencing social economic disadvantage would be more meaningfully assessed by carrying out Fairer Scotland Assessments of the secondary legislation that will result from the Bill and of the contents of the national good food nation plan: it is at this stage that the plan will be published and we will therefore carry out a full assessment at that point.
I confirm that the decision to not carry out a Fairer Scotland assessment has been authorised by:
Name and job title of Deputy Director: George Burgess
Deputy Director, Food and Drink Division
Date authorisation given: 31/08/2021