A new food body for Scotland

A new food body for Scotland is being established that will be responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labelling, and meat inspection policy and operational delivery.

As an interim measure, in October 2012 line management responsibility for operations staff in Scotland was transferred from the FSA’s UK Operations Group to the FSA in Scotland.

In addition, a Scottish Meat Delivery Group was established to provide additional transparency and assurance on meat operations delivery issues in Scotland. The group is chaired by the Director of FSA in Scotland and consists of senior managers from the Operations Group and from the FSA’s Aberdeen office.

During the first quarter of 2013, the Scottish Government carried out a public consultation on the proposed scope and responsibilities of the new food body. A link to the consultation can be found on the right at 'External sites'.

In August 2013, the FSA Board provided Scottish Ministers with comments and recommendations based on responses to the consultation. A link to the FSA Board’s response can be found below in 'Related items'.

The Board stated that the FSA would support Scottish Government to establish the new food body, and would aim to establish close, collaborative working relationships with the new food body once it was operational.

Scottish Ministers are expected to make an announcement on the scope and responsibilities of the new food body during the last quarter of 2013.

Background

In 2010, the UK Government took the decision to transfer responsibility for nutrition and food labelling and standards in England from the FSA to the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Following this announcement, Scottish Ministers asked Professor Jim Scudamore to lead an independent review to assess the feasibility of establishing a stand-alone food body in Scotland.

The Scudamore review of the functions of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland was published on 4 April 2012. A link to the Scudamore review is available on the right in ‘External sites’.

Following the recommendations of the review, Scottish Ministers announced in June 2012, that they intended to create a new food body for Scotland that would be responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labelling, and meat inspection policy and operational delivery. The Scottish Government announcement is available at the link in ‘External sites’.

New primary legislation will be required to establish the new food body. The Scottish Government has begun work on planning the new body, with the full support and co-operation of the FSA.

In September 2013, Scotland’s First Minister unveiled the Scottish Government’s forthcoming legislative programme, which included the Food Standards (Scotland) Bill. The First Minister pledged that the new food body would remain independent from government and would work in the interests of consumers.