FDF Scotland is proud to provide the Secretariat to the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Food. The Group was set up in 2004 and has the following remit:
- To raise awareness of food issues from production through to consumption and their importance to the consumer, the economy, the environment and to the health of Scotland
- To act as a policy forum for discussion and updating on Scottish food issues
- To contribute to policy development on a range of food issues in Scotland
Please note views expressed in these meetings do not necessarily represent the views of FDF Scotland and its members.
In 2004 the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) worked closely with MSPs to establish a Cross Party Group on Food. The Group met for the first time in November 2004 with SCC providing the Secretariat.
In 2006 it was agreed that the Secretariat should be jointly shared between the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) and SCC (which became Consumer Focus Scotland in 2008). It was also decided to have joint Co-Conveners to spread the load. The SFDF, now FDF Scotland, took over the Secretariat in 2011.
Conveners are elected at the Annual General Meeting each year. Currently there are three Co-Conveners from across the political spectrum.
Cross Party Group on Food discusses the impact of the Ukraine war on food security and supply
The impact of the Ukraine war on food security and supply was the topic of discussion at the latest meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Food.
The meeting was chaired by Annie Wells MSP and took place on 27 April 2022. FDF Scotland’s David Thomson and Professor Chris Elliot of the Centre for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast presented.
Both David and Chris are on the Scottish Government’s Food Security and Supply Taskforce which will soon publish a report setting out its recommendation on any short and longer team actions that can be taken to mitigate impacts and resolve supply issues. The report will also look at any future policy needed to address and strengthen food security and supply in Scotland.
Key topics of discussion included:
- The need to be more aware where our food comes from, how it's produced, where it's produced, the manufacturing processes and the supply chain networks.
- Ensuring less food is wasted.
- Looking at how we make Scotland more self-sufficient and able to cope with shocks.
- The importance of supermarkets in being part of the solution - they shape the market, the way that people behave and what food companies and farmers produce.
- The need to consider the impact of increased costs on public sector food.
- The importance of continuing to attract new talent into the food and drink industry.
Cross-Party Group on Food discusses Good Food Nation Bill
There was a lively discussion about the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill at the latest meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Food. The meeting took place virtually on 26 January 2022. It was well attended by MSPs and a wide range of organisations with an interest in food.
There were a series of presentations, followed by an open discussion. Key points included:
- There could be benefits of having all food policy in the one Bill.
- Some thought that due to the Bill covering a wide range of policy it is light on practical applications and detail.
- Local authorities are keen to build up relationships with producers, suppliers and manufacturers. FDF Scotland emphasised the importance of engaging with businesses on local food plans.
- Funding and overcoming logistics and distribution barriers is vital to allow local authorities to buy local food.
- Business representatives said that legislation could often lead to unintended consequences such as rising food prices. It was felt that it was better to work together on shared ambitions.
- It is important to recognise the successes of the Scottish food and drink industry. Huge strides forward had been made that we should be proud of – the Good Food Nation work should build on that.
- The role of Food Standards Scotland would be important when consulting on local food plans.
There were presentations from:
- Dr Ashley Cooke - Head of Food Policy at the Scottish Government
- Stephanie Mander - Co-ordinator at the Scottish Food Coalition
- Jayne Jones - Commercial Manager at Argyll and Bute Council
The Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill is at Stage 1 in the Scottish Parliament. This is where committees examine the Bill and gathers views ahead of it being debated in the Chamber. The lead committee is the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee.
FDF Scotland is proud to provide the Secretariat to the Cross-Party Group on Food. If you have any queries relating to the Group please get in touch with Mary.