Recipe For Success: Scotland's national food and drink policy

National food and drink policy published in 2009.


"The food and drink industry is a priority sector for Scotland. Recipe for Success promotes sustainable economic growth while recognising the challenges of public health, environmental sustainability and affordability."
Alan Burns, Chair of Scotland Food & Drink

Recipe for Success sets out the next steps of Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy.

For this Food and Drink Policy to succeed we must work in partnership. A host of individuals and organisations from across the public, private and third sector including food outlets, retailers, NHS, Scotland Food and Drink, Enterprise Agencies, local authorities and communities will be responsible for delivering actions which will be both challenging and exciting with some being more easily achieved than others.

This paper sets out how we will:

  • support the growth of our food and drink Industry;
  • build on our reputation as a land of food and drink;
  • ensure we make healthy and sustainable choices;
  • make our public sector an exemplar for sustainable food procurement;
  • ensure our food supplies are secure and resilient to change;
  • make food both available and affordable to all; and
  • ensure that our people understand more about the food they eat.

The National Conversation

The current Devolution settlement does not provide the Scottish Government with control over reserved matters (for example, competition law). We are already considering the future of our country and how we are governed through the National Conversation. We will continue to work closely with others at UK, EU and global levels to help us deliver the actions and identify opportunities for Scotland to positively secure our food and drink future on the international stage.

The Development of Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy

"The aim of Scotland's first National Food and Drink Policy is to promote Scotland's sustainable economic growth by ensuring that the Scottish Government's focus in relation to food and drink, and in particular our work with Scotland's food and drink industry, addresses quality, health and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability, recognising the need for access and affordability at the same time."

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, 19 June 2008

In early 2008 we asked what you thought should be in a food policy. When we launched our discussion paper Choosing the Right Ingredients, over 500 individuals and organisations responded saying that diet and nutrition, local food and local economies, health promotion, the environment, education and access were the issues most important to you.

The Scottish Government was being set a real challenge to bring together these diverse agendas.

In June 2008 the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead, established five workstreams to provide recommendations. These workstreams were:

  • Sustainable economic growth of the food and drink industry led by Allan Burns of Scotland Food and Drink
  • Healthy and sustainable food and drink choices led by Professor Annie Anderson of Dundee University
  • Celebrating and safeguarding Scotland's reputation as a Land of Food and Drink, supported by Martin Wishart, Restaurateur
  • Walking the talk - getting public sector procurement right led by Robin Gourlay of East Ayrshire Council
  • Food security, access and affordability led by Reverend Professor David Atkinson.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, launching the National Food and Drink Discussion at a school breakfast club along with chef Nick Nairn
Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, launching the National Food and Drink Discussion at a school breakfast club along with chef Nick Nairn.

A Food and Drink Leadership Forum was also established. Champions were appointed to properly reflect the key fundamentals of health, environment, affordability and the economy. The Forum was tasked with making recommendations to the Scottish Government based on the workstream reports. The Champions were:

  • Professor Phil Hanlon of the University of Glasgow for health
  • Professor Jan Bebbington of the Sustainable Development Commission and St Andrew's University for the environment
  • Ken MacKenzie of the Scottish Retail Consortium for the economy
  • Dave Simmers of the Community Food Initiative North East for affordability.

In addition, Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, was asked to represent the drinks industry.

Since August 2008 the workstreams and the Leadership Forum have met on several occasions to debate the issues. Their recommendations have now been delivered and the extensive work they undertook and the evidence they gathered are described in their reports and associated documents on the Scottish Government website at .



Telephone: 0300 244 9802

Scottish Government
Food, Drink and Rural Communities
B1 Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD

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