Food systems transformation in Scotland - The journey to, vision of, and challenges facing, the new Good Food Nation (Scotland) Act

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Building on growing global and local calls for food systems transformation, and years of policy and legislative consultation (2009–2022), the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed transformational food systems legislation in June 2022. Built on a clear vision, clarity of purpose, a common set of outcomes, an agreed direction of travel, strong partnership working, sufficient time, and independent oversight, the Good Food Nation (GFN) (Scotland) Act is an innovative legislative framework designed to foster a healthier, fairer, and more sustainable Scottish food system for all. It places, for the first time, statutory responsibilities on the Scottish Government and relevant authorities (all Scottish local authorities and public health boards) to develop and implement national and local GFN plans, and importantly, makes provision for the establishment of a new independent, statutory Scottish Food Commission to oversee the implementation, with significant powers of oversight and scrutiny and a formal remit to make recommendations to any Scottish ministers and relevant authorities regarding issues/actions relevant to the Good Food Nation Plans. This paper outlines Scotland’s agriculture, food, and drink sector, reviews its food policy and GFN journey since the establishment of the Scottish parliament in 1999, critiques the core principles, stated outcomes, key provisions, and planned timescales of the GFN (Scotland) Act, reflects on its transformational potential, and considers unresolved concerns and remaining tensions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14579
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • food policy
  • systems transformation
  • Scotland
  • legislation
  • social
  • environmental
  • economic
  • public health
  • wellbeing
  • sustainable


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