Scotland plans Scottish Food Commission

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

The Edinburgh government plans to establish a Scottish Food Commission to improve the nation's food culture
The Edinburgh government plans to establish a Scottish Food Commission to improve the nation's food culture
The creation of a Scottish Food Commission is the centre piece of Scotland’s latest discussion document – Becoming a Good Food Nation – unveiled this week, as part of the country’s plans to develop a food and drink policy.

The commission would be responsible for championing “the importance of food to Scotland’s health, environment, economy and quality of life”, ​according to Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and the environment.

Improving access to good quality food to boost Scotland’s diet and food culture will be the top priorities of the next phase of the Scottish government’s food and drink policy, he said.

“Scotland is fast becoming one of the world’s leading food and drink nations,”​ said Lochhead. “We have come a long way in terms of reputation and success in a few short years but we can do even better.”

Children’s food policy

Other areas covered in the policy document include: promoting good food choices – including fresh, seasonal and local produce – and developing a children’s food policy. See full list below.

The government’s Curriculum for Excellence initiative had created more than 135,000 individual opportunities for pupils to learn about food, he said. Plus all National Health Service (NHS) food outlets and prisons now have the Healthy Living Award.

“But we must do more if we are to tackle world-wide threats to global food security,”​ he said. That included the environmental impact of food production and the £1bn of food and drink Scots throw away each year. 

The government acknowledged Scotland had one of the poorest diet-related health records in the world. Obesity alone, if unchecked, was predicted to cost Scotland £3bn by 2030.

Poorest diet-related health

Moreover, the consumption of fruit and vegetables among the poorest 20% of Scots had fallen by a fifth since the recession. Improving the nation’s health would take at least a generation to deliver, said the minister.

He invited Scots to contact the government and the new Food Commission to express their views on how to improve Scotland’s food culture.

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers said promoting Scotland’s reputation for food was the key to achieving an industry worth £16.5bn by 2017.

“Scotland is now seen as model to follow by other countries, in terms of forging a national food and drink identity and achieving economic growth,”​ said Withers.

“If the same level of collaboration that has been the catalyst for that, can also be focused on wider food issues relating to diet, education and communities our reputation – the platform for future growth – will be stronger still.”

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is staging a free, independent, one-hour webinar on obesity at 11am on Thursday July 3. Book your place at the event – supported by the Institute of Food Science & Technology, the British Dietetic Association and the Nutrition Society here​.

 

Becoming a good food nation: key points

• Creating a Scottish Food Commission to champion the importance of food to Scotland’s health, environment, economy and quality of life

• Promoting good food choices to consumers, enlisting the support of retailers, food producers and public bodies

• Scotland’s public sector to lead by example with the NHS local authorities and Scottish government signing up to offer fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable produce

• Developing a specific children’s food policy in recognition of the impact of food on the health of young people and their ability to influence society’s behaviour over future generations

• Working with communities to encourage the production and sale of more locally grown food

• Realising the economic benefits of a better domestic food culture for Scotland’s food and drink sector

Source: Scottish government

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3 comments

Great strategy for food security and improved nutrition

Posted by Maw Maw Soe,

It is good and compherensive approach considering the all stakeholders (provate sectors/government/education sector/consumers) for food security and improved nutrition. Especially, it is exiciting the preparation of circulum for children's food security.

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Really?

Posted by John Crosby,

In Australia we have the Food Standards, Australia and New Zealand which sets standards for food for sale in a consistent manner, This goes to hygienic food production and correct labelling. Then we have the health departments who all have done work in good food choices, with a current proposal to update the way food nutrition is identified on the pack.
We have a large number of food companies advertising their product and its advantages. We have a reputation as one of the cleanest and safest producers of food in the world. We have the MLA in meat and Dairy Australia, Horticulture Australia, the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Do we really need another Qango ?

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Great Food Nation

Posted by Brenda Anderson,

Very, very pleased to hear it.

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