A dedicated Food Security Unit has been established in Scotland to monitor supply chains for possible disruption.

Its establishment was a key recommendation of the Short-life Food Security and Supply Taskforce, which was set up by the Scottish government and industry last year in response Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The purpose of the unit is to monitor food system resilience so that Scotland is able to react quickly to any future shocks.

Speaking ahead of a parliamentary debate on Securing a Sustainable Food Supply for Scotland later today (Thursday, March 18), Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“In the recent past we’ve seen several significant events impacting our food and drink sector, including Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and, crucially – the UK Government’s choice to pursue a hard Brexit, which took us out of the EU and the Single Market.

“On top of this there has been further disruption to supply chains resulting from climate volatility, something that we are likely to see more of in the future.

“I want to ensure we are able to anticipate and adapt to shocks as much as possible, while we develop policies to try to mitigate them and reduce their likelihood.

“While it is not possible to predict all impacts, our new dedicated Food Security Unit will enable better long-term insight into global supply chain performance – helping us to improve our responsiveness to potential crises. 

“Our farmers and crofters are essential to Scotland’s food security and I am committed to supporting our nation’s producers, in the short term, by maintaining direct payments, and in the long term through our new Agriculture Bill and reform programme.”