800 PEOPLE TAKE ACTION FOR GOOD FOOD LAW
The Scottish Food Coalition Press Release, Wednesday 23 May 2018
Campaigners will bring kitchen tables and chairs outside the Scottish Parliament to launch a report on public priorities for the future of food in Scotland on Wednesday 23 May 2018, at 12:30pm.
The Kitchen Table Talks report, published by the Scottish Food Coalition, asked the public their top priorities and concerns for a Good Food Nation, adding pressure on the Scottish Government to begin its overdue consultation on a Bill before the Summer Recess. (The Scottish Government previously committed to consulting on a Good Food Nation Bill in its 2016 and 2017 Programme for Government.
Top concerns included: the affordability of a healthy diet, and the environmental impact of our food system. Top priorities included: action to facilitate local food economies, make all food production sustainable, and to improve access to good food.
Food sits at the heart of Scotland’s biggest challenges, from food insecurity to poor health, from worker rights to our warming climate. We have the skills and resources in Scotland to turn this around – but we need new law to do it.
Food matters: over 800 people participated in the Kitchen Table Talks public engagement, sharing their top 5 concerns and priorities for a Good Food Nation.
There is huge public appetite for a national conversation on the future of our food system – tell the First Minister to launch the consultation. The consultation should be informed, inclusive, and interactive. This is our once in a generation opportunity to make food fair, healthy and sustainable: Bring on the Bill.
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Amabel Crowe, Scottish Food Coalition Coordinator, said:
“With over 800 people participating in the Food Coalition’s Kitchen Table Talk engagement, it’s clear that there is public appetite for a national conversation on what it means to be a Good Food Nation.
“People who participated in the engagement want to see the Scottish Government take action to support local food economies, make all food sustainable through incentives and regulation, and to improve financial and physical access to healthy diets.
“Never has there been a timelier moment to introduce law – food sits at the heart of Scotland’s biggest challenges, from food insecurity to poor health, from worker rights to our warming climate.
“The Scottish Government needs to hear these voices, the public consultation on a Good Food Nation Bill can’t just be about business as usual, it has to listen to the families relying on food banks, the people with chronic health conditions, the workers and the farmers who feed Scotland. We all welcome the opportunity for a world leading Food Bill.”
Dave Watson, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at UNISON, said:
“The consultation is long overdue. It must start soon and be well thought out and inclusive. We are part of the Scottish Food Coalition because we want a food system based on the principles of social and environmental justice, with public services leading by example.”
Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead for Obesity Action Scotland said:
“The Kitchen Table Talks have reinforced how important it is that we improve the accessibility and affordability of a healthy diet. If we truly want to call ourselves a Good Food Nation then we must have a Bill that enables everyone in Scotland to have a healthy diet.”
Robin McAlpine, Common Weal, said:
“Food is one of the most political conversations people have in Scotland and there are widespread and very strong views about how our food system should be improved for our health, for our economy and for our quality of life among many other things. It really is time that the Scottish Government pressed on with the Good Food Nation Bill to start the process of getting public policy catch up with the hopes and aspirations of the Scottish public”
About the Scottish Food Coalition
The Scottish Food Coalition is a civil society coalition working for food justice in Scotland. Members range from trade unions to environmental organisations. The full list of members is available here: http://www.foodcoalition.scot/the-coalition.html
We want to transform our food system so that it contributes to everyone’s health and well-being, values the work to put food on our plate, supports high animal welfare, and sustains our wildlife, natural resources and environment for generations to come.
Our Core Principles are:
1. People matter:
- Everyone has the right to sufficient, safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food obtained in ways free from stigma or status, now and into the future.
- Our food system is run by people for people, throughout the food chain. Everyone should have key employment rights and be respected and valued. There should be a just transition to a new food system.
- The food system should be governed democratically, with people involved in decision-making at all levels from local to global.
- Both consumers and the industry deserve properly funded independent checks on food production.
2. The Environment matters:
- Agriculture alone accounts for around half of food’s total carbon footprint in the UK. Scotland must move away from our current resource-intensive production models at sea and on land, towards alternatives such as organic and agroecological production which deliver sufficient food to eat while building resilience in the face of climatic change.
- Organic and other sustainable farming systems foster stewardship of land which is vital because farming is so much more than just food production; agriculture is important for its impacts on water quality, biodiversity, flood alleviation, carbon storage, animal welfare, landscape and recreation.
- Seeds and genes should not be made into commodities and commercialised by corporate interests; they are the basis of a resilient food system that all of us need to survive.
3. It’s about more than food:
- Food and drink is more than calories, profit margins and trade: our food system profoundly affects our health and well-being, and should be designed to enhance both.
- Public health is a priority; in order that our bodies and minds function to the best of their abilities a nutrient-dense diet, with limited high-sugar food and drinks, is essential.
- Food is a tool for social transformation. A thriving food culture in Scotland can strengthen communities, improve animal welfare, and bring fun and meaning to mealtimes.
- The way we produce and consume food should reflect an understanding of our reliance on the natural environment.
4. Short supply chains go further:
- Food supply chains should distribute – not concentrate – power and ownership.
- Everyone should have opportunities to develop an understanding of the food they eat and participate in growing or producing through access to land. For example, an allotment, community garden, or community supported agriculture.
- Where possible, food supply chains should be short (in steps, if not geographic distance), simple and transparent, and be made up of mutually beneficial relationships.
- Scotland should produce more of what it eats and eat more of what it produces, bringing people and food providers closer together in a resilient ‘mixed economy’ of food.
- We currently waste huge amounts of food (and the natural and human resources which went to make it) at all stages of the supply chain: we need to take significant steps to reduce this.
Contact – Scottish Food Coalition
Elli Kontorravdis, Policy & Campaigns Manager, Nourish Scotland
t: 07511 800284