Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has opened a public consultation on its proposals for its new strategy for 2021-26.

The draft strategy is titled ‘Protecting Scotland in a Changing Food Environment’ and identifies FSS’s proposed key priorities for the next five years.

The proposals in the strategy sets out how FSS would intend to deliver these priorities, taking account of the external factors that will have an influence on its future role in the food and public health landscape, including EU Exit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consultation runs until Friday 18th December 2020 and seeks views on FSS’s ambition for Scotland’s food environment and its proposed approach for delivering the new strategy, focussing on five aspirational outcomes:

  • Food is safe and authentic
  • Consumers in Scotland have healthier diets
  • Responsible food businesses are enabled to thrive
  • Consumers in Scotland are empowered to make positive choices about food
  • FSS is a trusted organisation

Representatives from Government, local authorities, the food and drink industry, research and academia, as well as members of the public, are all being encouraged to have their say on Scotland’s food future by taking part in the consultation and providing feedback on FSS’s goals over the next five years.

Responses will be used to review the current draft. The FSS says its aim is that the final version will be framed around a high-level vision and a mission statement. It will also outline FSS’s purpose, ambition and how it will deliver its priorities to protect the health and well-being of everyone in Scotland. The Strategy will be published in April 2021.

Ross Finnie, chair of Food Standards Scotland, said: “As Scotland’s leading authority on food and feed, our vision is to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable food landscape that benefits and protects the health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland.

“Our Future Strategy to 2026 needs to outline Food Standards Scotland’s continued role in protecting the food chain and public health, to help Scotland thrive in a changing food landscape. That is why it is important we consult on it to ensure there is an opportunity to contribute to our future direction.

“Reducing food safety risks and improving the Scottish diet will continue to be priorities for FSS, but it has become increasingly important for our work of the need to take account of the wider political, social and environmental issues that are impacting on our food system. The Board will finalise the Strategy in early 2021 after taking account of the responses to the consultation.

“This is an important opportunity to have your say on how FSS can deliver in the best interests of Scotland, and we would encourage all with an interest in what we do to take part.”