Is it really mid February? This warmth is confusing me! I can't decide whether to start sowing or not. And the kale looks like it is going to flower.....
The Good Food Nation Bill consultation is open...time to have your say.
You may remember me talking about the Good Food Nation Bill: the much awaited legislation in the Scottish Parliament, to shape a better food culture in Scotland. Well, the public consultation is now open and I would encourage you to let Scottish Government know what sort of food nation you think Scotland should be, and how the government can make it happen.
I have been involved in the campaign leading up to the Bill, through the food justice organisation Nourish Scotland, of which I was vice chair until recently. In September 2017, I attended the 'Food Summit' in Stirling, at which 80 organisations agreed 5 steps needing legislation to shape our food future. They are.....
1. Incorporate the Right to Food into Scots LawThe right to food is a right for everyone to be able to eat well, and to a food system that treats people and planet fairly. Having a right to food in Scottish law would mean the Scottish Government would have to ensure its policies are not negatively impacting people’s right to food.
2. An Independent Food CommissionWe want the Scottish Parliament to establish an independent commission which will have the authority to oversee the implementation of the Good Food Nation Bill. This commission would facilitate public participation in food policy and be charged with ensuring all policies respect the right to food.
3. Cross-cutting National Food PlansWe want a requirement that every five years the Scottish Ministers develop a joined-up plan for food, that will cover all policy areas that touch on food, from farming to procurement, health, waste, etc. We want this plan to be developed through an open consultation and scrutinised by Parliament.
4. Duties on Public BodiesWe want the Bill to set duties on local authorities, health boards and other public bodies to contribute to the Good Food Nation ambition. These duties would mean they have to respect the right to food and support the deliver of the National Food Plan.
5. Sectoral measures and targetsThe Good Food Nation Bill should include binding targets to stimulate immediate action on some of the challenges of our food system. Targets should aim for reduction in household food insecurity; reduction in adult and childhood obesity; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the food system; increase in the proportion of food and drink businesses paying the living wage; and other issues – aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Unfortunately, Scottish Government has taken a somewhat minimalist approach in the proposed legislation, and is planning making only one of these actions (number 3) a legal requirement.
I think it is important that all 5 actions (and more) are in the Bill, so that the legislation provides a framework for setting ambitious targets for better food over the next 20 years, and provides a set of measures to achieve them - similar to the Climate Change Bill that has made Scotland a world leader in emission reduction and renewable energy production.
The Good Food Nation consultation is a bit dry, but it is the best way to have your say on Scotland's future food policy. You can read more about the background to the Bill here....
give your consultation response here...
and find some hints on how to fill out the consultation here....
The consultation closes on 29 March 2019. It takes just one lunchtime to make your views known.