Food Standards Scotland

Food Standards Scotland
Inbhe-Bidhe Alba
Agency overview
Type Non-ministerial government department
Jurisdiction Scotland
Headquarters Pilgrim House, Old Ford Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5RL
Employees 160[1]
Annual budget £20 million[1]
Minister responsible
Agency executives

Food Standards Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhe-Bidhe Alba) is a non-ministerial government department of the Scottish Government. It is responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labelling and meat inspection in Scotland. Established by the Food (Scotland) Act 2015, Food Standards Scotland has taken over the responsibilities of the UK-wide organisation, the Food Standards Agency, in Scotland.[2]


The key areas of responsibility outlined in the Act include:

As well as replacing the duties of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, the new body will have a role in diet and nutrition policy.[3] The new body would also be granted powers to be able to seize food where labelling rules have not been met.[4]

FSS has a consumer protection role: making sure that food is safe to eat, ensuring consumers know what they are eating and improving nutrition. FSS has a vision of a food and drink environment in Scotland that benefits, protects and is trusted by consumers.

FSS will have a role in providing information and advice on food safety and standards, nutrition and labelling. The information provided will need to be independent, consistent, evidence-based and consumer-focused.

FSS develops policies, provides policy and consumer advice and delivers a robust regulatory and enforcement strategy. FSS is funded mainly by government and charges fees to recover costs for regulatory functions.[5]


The FSS Board meets in public. Policy recommendations and decisions, and the reasons for them, will be publicly available via the website.[6]


In 2010, the UK Government decided to move responsibility for nutrition and food labelling and standards in England from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).[7]

Following this the Scottish Government commissioned an independent review to assess the feasibility of establishing a stand-alone Scottish food standards body.[8] The review was led by Professor Jim Scudamore and reported in 2012.[9]


Having been established by legislation in January 2015, Food Standards Scotland was launched on 1 April 2015.

In advance of the legislation being finalised the FSA in Scotland moved their office to The Pilgrim House, in the centre of Aberdeen.[10]

In November 2014 it was announced that Ross Finnie would be appointed as the Chair of Food Standards Scotland.[1] Geoff Ogle who has been Acting Director for the Scottish branch of Food Standards Agency since June 2014 will become the new organisation's Chief Executive.

Passage of the Bill

Plans to create a new food standards body in Scotland were announced by Ministers in June 2012.[11] A public consultation ran between February and May 2013.[12] The Bill passed Stage 2 on the legislative process in November 2014.

The Bill was introduced to Scottish Parliament on 13 March 2014. The Bill passed Stage 2 of the legislative process on 11 November 2014.[13] In August 2014 support for the new body was given by MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee.[14][15] It received Royal assent on 13 January 2015.[16]


  1. 1 2 3 "Food Standards Scotland" (Press release). Scottish Government. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. "Food Standards Scotland" (Press release). Scottish Government. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. "SPICe Briefing: Food (Scotland) Bill" (PDF). Scottish Parliament. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  4. Williams, Martin (17 November 2015). "Calls for stronger powers against food fraud". The Herald. Newsquest. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  5. "About Us". Food Standards Scotland. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  6. "How We Work". Food Standards Scotland. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  7. "Healthy living: Food and health: Creating A New Food Body". Scottish Government. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  8. "Food standards body for Scotland" (Press release). Scottish Government. 27 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013.
  9. "Future arrangements to secure food standards and safety in Scotland". Scottish Government. 4 April 2012. ISBN 978 1 78045 774 1.
  10. "New office for the Food Standards Agency in Scotland" (Press release). Food Standards Agency. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  11. "New Scottish food standards body planned". BBC News. BBC. 27 June 2012.
  12. "Food and Health: Creating A New Food Body: Creating a New Food Body Consultation". Scottish Government. 11 Dec 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  13. "New Bills: Food (Scotland) Bill". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  14. "New food standards body for Scotland debated". BBC News. BBC. 2 October 2014.
  15. "Creation of a food standards body for Scotland supported by the Health Committee" (Press release). Scottish Parliament. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  16. "Food (Scotland) Act 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2015.

External links

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