February 20, 2019
Can we be better at food.
Food is such an essential ingredient of our lives and yet we rarely pause to consider whether what we eat is enhancing our health and wellbeing, whether the price we pay for it values all the work that went into producing it or whether it sustains our natural environment. Scottish Government is considering bringing in legislation to make Scotland A Good Food Nation and the consultation closes next week. To help answer some of the questions, Nourish Scotland have produced a. Important that Scottish Government hears from as many voices as possible.
The public must get behind a landmark bid to transform our food system, a charity coalition has said.
Action is urgent as Scotland is failing to meet the needs of its people and the environment in how it deals with what and how we eat.
The Scottish Food Coalition – a diverse group of civil society organisations including major charities and trade unions – wants people to get behind a planned Good Food Nation bill.
This would transform how food is seen in Scotland, tackling the country’s connected food challenges, setting out measures to attack child poverty, obesity, the environmental impact of food production and waste, and the scandal of low pay for food production and service workers.
The coalition scored a major victory last year when campaigning saw the bill’s inclusion in the Scottish Government’s legislative programme, amid fears it would be dropped.
However, TFN understands there has been frustrations in the sector about a lack of government impetus in promoting it, and concerns about how parts of it have been worded.
Now, with the closing date for the consultation looming on 29 March, the coalition is making a major push for the public’s participation.
They say it is vitally important to everyone – as over a third of working Scots worry about putting food on the table, and more and more people are forced to rely on foodbanks.
At the same time, while many farmers and crofters go above and beyond for the environment, in other places, food production has contributed to declines in wildlife, soil and water quality, and climate-warming emissions.
Issues of food poverty, diet-related disease and exploitation of our workforce and our natural resources must all be addressed.
A new law to deliver Scotland’s Good Food Nation ambitions could help us do that, says the coalition.
The bill will contain a statutory right to food at its heart, so joined-up policy making can ensure everyone has reliable access to healthy sustainable food for themselves and their families. It also believes there needs to be a statutory Scottish Food Commission to drive the necessary change towards a fairer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly food system.
Professor Mary Brennan, chair of the Scottish Food Coalition, said: “I urge everyone to respond to this consultation, the outcomes of which will shape how the Scottish food system is managed for generations to come.
“Scotland has an exciting opportunity to be world leading in placing food at the heart of all decision making. By doing so we can improve the quality, healthiness, and environmental sustainability of our food while ensuring that those who produce and prepare it do so under fair, safe and secure conditions.”
Jackson Cullinane from Unite the Union added: “This consultation is very welcome and long overdue. It is important that it considers ideas and proposals on the broad range of issues relative to good food provision, including the need to tackle food poverty, improve health and ensure that workers across the food chain have decent wages, conditions and the highest possible standards of health and safety.”