Short-Life Food Security and Supply Taskforce: Terms of Reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Government's short-life taskforce in partnership with industry, to consider any impacts on overall food supplies due to the war in Ukraine.


In the context of the current situation in Ukraine, the Scottish Government is establishing this short-life taskforce together with industry to consider any impacts on overall food supplies, including availability and price and to consider any policy and other actions that might be taken to help mitigate those impacts. 

The taskforce will:

  • analyse the potential disruption to food supply chains, as this affects Scotland.  This will include analysing the supply chain from primary production to manufacturing and consumers, and assessing the impact of trade flows.
  • identify the potential impact of any disruption on food/drink supply to consumers, public sector food supplies, animal welfare and overall business resilience.
  • recommend any short-term action (pre-summer 2022), medium-term actions (before end of 2022) and long term (beyond 2022) that can be taken to mitigate impacts and resolve supply issues.  This will include actions to be taken by business and by Government.
  • consider any future structures and policy measures needed to monitor, address and strengthen food security and supply in Scotland.
  • explore with relevant Scottish Government colleagues advising about humanitarian aid on the provision of product and food supplies in the short, medium and long term to Ukraine.  Also consider how the industry can provide employment opportunities to those arriving from Ukraine.

Specific areas of focus

The taskforce will: 

  • identify potential disruption to supplies direct from Ukraine/Russia to Scotland/UK (exploiting work already underway on food industry intelligence and supply chain mapping, to describe how the supply chain works and to apply traffic light rating and vulnerability assessments/critical control points)
  • make any relevant connections with work already underway to guard against any potential food crime fraud concerns
  • identify potential disruption to supplies imported indirectly from Ukraine/Russia (products imported via third country using ingredients/materials from Ukraine/Russia). This will extend beyond just raw materials and ingredients to include consideration of ancillary supplies such as packaging, as well as impacts on workforce availability
  • identify end markets most likely to be affected (e.g. retail vs foodservice, including public procurement)
  • consider the impact of cost increases on the viability of food/drink production in Scotland, analysing likely increases in costs of production
  • consider the impact of cost increases on consumers
  • identify alternatives, where supplies are disrupted
  • identify alternative approaches to supply, including replacing imports with domestic supplies in short, medium and long term


The membership of the Taskforce is similar to the Food Sector Resilience Group and includes key industry representatives.

The taskforce is co-chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands and the Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink. 

The following organisations have had invitations extended to them to participate with others brought in as needed: 

  • Food and Drink Federation Scotland
  • Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society
  • Seafood Scotland
  • NFUS
  • Agricultural Industries Confederation
  • Institute of Global Food Security
  • Scottish Government
  • Quality Meat Scotland
  • Scottish Retail Consortium
  • Scottish Government, Scottish Procurement  (although relevant Procurement Centres of Expertise might be asked and brought in as needed)
  • Food Standards Scotland

April 2022

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