Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published its five-year strategy today (17 August) outlining how the organisation plans to achieve its vision to create a food and drink environment in Scotland that benefits, protects and is trusted by consumers.
FSS was launched in April 2015 by the Scottish Government to deliver independent, consistent, evidence-based and consumer-focused information as it works to protect public health, help improve the Scottish diet and protect the interests of consumers in relation to food.
The new Strategy highlights FSS’s broad remit as the authoritative voice on food issues, giving out clear advice on nutrition, food safety, and food and feed policy. In doing this, FSS will put consumers first, aiming to be a credible, consistent and trusted voice on food matters in Scotland.
The Strategy sets out six strategic outcomes that will be the focus of what FSS will do up to 2021:
- Food is safe
- Food is authentic
- Consumers have healthier diets
- Responsible food businesses flourish
- FSS is a trust organisation
- FSS is efficient and effective
FSS Chair Ross Finnie, said: “FSS has a crucial role to play in improving public health. Putting consumers first is at the heart of this Strategy, and provides a framework to achieve our vision to create a food and drink environment in Scotland that benefits, protects and is trusted by consumers.
“FSS has also developed a three-year Corporate Plan showing what we’ll do to deliver that vision by consistently putting consumers first in relation to food safety, food standards and healthy eating.
“Poor diet is one of the most significant causes of ill health in Scotland. FSS Chief Executive Geoff Ogle, said: “We cannot continue on our current trajectory towards 40% of the population in Scotland being obese by 2030, so making an impact on the dietary contribution to obesity is a priority for FSS. Our Strategy and Corporate Plan set out what we will do to help people in Scotland to live longer, healthier lives.”
The food and drink sector is a significant part of Scotland’s economy, employing some 350,000 people in Scotland.
Mr Ogle, said: “While Scotland’s food and drink sector continues to flourish and contribute to the Scottish economy, there remain significant challenges around food, diet and public health.
“Our efforts must be focussed on working collaboratively with stakeholders to address these and other challenges related to the consumer interest, ensuring that consumers’ health and wellbeing is protected, and that they can have confidence in the safety and authenticity of food they buy.
“Earning and keeping consumers’ trust is central to our success and we will act independently on their behalf. We must also earn the trust of those we regulate in the food industry.
“Strong partnership working and collaboration will be essential for success – FSS will work with central and local government, with industry, other regulators, the third sector and with the public.”