Food Standards Scotland has published its strategic ambitions for the next five years, placing renewed emphasis on improving the Scottish diet and associated negative health consequences.
‘Healthy, Safe, Sustainable: Driving Scotland’s Food Future’ for 2021-2026 is FSS’s second Strategy, and realigns the organisation’s efforts recognising the significant societal, political and environmental changes that have occurred since it was established in 2015.
It sets out how the independent public sector food body will help protect the diverse interests of people in Scotland. The organisation plans to continue to take a robust evidence-based approach in its activities as the trusted and influential source on food information and advice.
FSS will continue to work with others such as the food and drink and hospitality sectors, government and other key partners in order to deliver on its commitments.
Food Standards Scotland’s Chair, Ross Finnie, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the need to improve Scotland’s diet into sharp focus, highlighting the need for urgent action. Over-weight and obesity lead to poor health which increases the risks from Covid-19. There has been no real improvement in the last 20 years and the pandemic is a very stark warning that further policy action is needed to tackle Scotland’s poor diet. FSS will play its part by redoubling our effort on diet and health.
“The question for all of us when it comes to diet is ‘If we don’t tackle it now, then when?’
“Everyone, including FSS, government, the food and drink and hospitality sectors as well as consumers have a role to play in turning around poor health outcomes from overweight and obesity with a clear focus on preventative measures. We cannot do it alone.
“We will work with those who share our interests to reduce the burden of diet related disease that inhibits the nation’s wellbeing and prosperity”.
Food Standards Scotland’s Chief Executive Geoff Ogle added: “Significant issues and societal changes such as EU Exit and Covi-19 have dramatically changed our way of life and will have impact for years to come, while climate change presents future challenges with respect to security, nutritional quality and the safety of our food chain.
“We will continue to put consumer interests and public health protection at the heart of our work. As well as continuing to ensure the food we eat is safe and authentic, we want to empower healthier food choices including in the out-of-home food environment such as food on the go, cafes, restaurants and take-aways.”