Walkers Shortbread

Source: Walker’s Shortbread

Trade body Scottish Bakers has voiced concerns over proposed restrictions on the promotion of bakery products with high fat, salt, or sugar (HFSS) content in Scotland.

The Scottish Government recently initiated a consultation seeking to introduce distinct trading regulations for businesses that sell goods in Scottish stores – these differ from regulations in other UK regions.

Scottish Bakers noted that, unlike the rest of the UK, the Scottish Government had chosen to move ahead with introducing restrictions on temporary price reductions, meal deals, free refills of sugar sweetened drinks, and freestanding display units. It asserted that this will, in turn, make it more complex for Scottish-based businesses to compete on a level playing field.

“The plans are poised to significantly affect small-scale Scottish food and beverage producers, intensifying the complexity and financial burden associated with selling bakery products in Scotland,” commented Scottish Bakers chief executive Lesley Cameron, who assumed the leadership role last September.

“Scottish Bakers is committed to actively influencing these regulations during the consultation process, advocating for considerations of their impact on our members. Concurrently, the Reformulation for Health initiative remains steadfast in supporting Scotland’s food and beverage industry in enhancing the health profile of their products,” she added.

The initiative Cameron was referring to is run by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland, which recently unveiled the fourth round of its £50k Reformul8 Challenge Fund to help Scottish manufacturers including bakers create more healthier product lines.

In addition, the Healthier Bakery Fund was launched last May through a partnership with Food Standards Scotland, with funding awarded two months later to 13 Scottish businesses to help them make their bakery product recipes healthier.

In June of last year, the UK government announced it would be postponing its already delayed launch of volume price promotions restrictions – affecting the likes of buy one get one free offers on junk food – for another two years until October 2025. The decision was described at the time as “unforgivable” by health campaigners, who said obesity was “piling pressure on the NHS and driving down economic productivity”.

Scottish Bakers has been supporting and protecting the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade for over 130 years. To recognise and celebrate excellence in the sector, the organisation hosts both the annual World Championship Scotch Pie Awards, which saw James Pirie & Sons claim its fifth title earlier this year, and the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards, most recently won by Mimi’s Bakehouse