There is a lot happening in the lives of our Ambassadors - that's why we're introducing monthly challenges to help them do just one action a month towards the campaign for a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system.
OCTOBER CHALLENGE: Help Shape the Campaign!
For October, GFN Ambassadors have two options to help us shape the campaign strategy:
The purpose of doing this Campaign Group is to work alongside the Scottish Food Coalition Members to shape the campaign strategy.
NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: Get to know your MSP!
Introduce yourselves to your MSP as a GFN Ambassador
You can find their details and write to them through www.writetothem.com, or find details of your local MSP online.
The purpose of doing this is so that your MSP knows to look out for the bill, and so that you have already started a conversation with them that you can follow up on when the Good Food Nation Bill starts to be debated in Parliament.
DECEMBER CHALLENGE: Grow Your Network!
Begin creating a network of people interested in food in your community. Get in touch with existing food networks, food hubs, food banks, allotment societies, growers, breakfast clubs, and start building a network of local food activists. Try to convene one discussion with local activists, informing them about the potential for change through the Good Food Nation Bill, and ask if you can get in touch for help with the campaign next year. Make sure that if you are collecting people’s email addresses to contact them later, that you store them securely and do not share them with anyone else.
a. Share stories with these local food activists and members of your community and tell them why the GFN bill is an important piece of legislation that they can help shape. Talk to these networks about the inconsistencies in the food system, what is unjust and what needs to change. Ask them to share their food stories, or their worries or frustrations when it comes to food; you can begin sharing these on social media (with their permission) with the #ScottishFoodStories and #GoodFoodNation, tagging @scottishfoodcoalition. You can also send these to us, and we will keep track of them as well as potentially publishing some of them in our monthly newsletter. People’s stories will be important as part of the campaign around the Good Food Nation Bill, to push Scottish Government to make this new law as ambitious and transformational as possible.
The purpose of doing this is to start building local networks to raise awareness on the Good Food Nation Bill and the opportunity it offers for communities interested in changing the food system. Gathering stories is an initial way of engaging with your local networks, and sharing stories is a good way to keep the conversation going about the need for change, and make sure that Scottish Government sees how many people care about food.
JANUARY CHALLENGE: Increase Visibility!
Talk with a business or community organisation and ask them to display the Good Food Nation Campaign sticker on their window or to wear a Good Food Nation badge. Take a picture with them and/or of the sticker and share on social media, or send us an email - we would love to feature it in our newsletter. Don’t forget to tag us @scottishfoodcoalition and use the hashtags #ScottishFoodStories and #GoodFoodNation
The purpose of doing this is to start to strike up a conversation with businesses and community organisations about their role in a Good Food Nation. The stickers and badges are a visual statement, which when displayed across Scotland will raise awareness of the campaign.
*Find more information and tips on the Monthly Challenges here: download this document
This past Saturday we held a reunion for our Ambassadors. The event included an update on the progress of the Good Food Nation Bill, and the fantastic consultation results (scroll down to read more). We also enjoyed some presentations from some of our Ambassadors on successful events, social media and press engagement. We used the rest of the session to explore the role of gathering stories and communicating them to journalists, policy-makers, businesses and members of the community. The session finished off with a chance to stretch our creative muscles, exploring different forms of communicating the Good Food Nation message via video, posters and poetry.
You can also download more comprehensive notes on the event here.
People power evident in response to Good Food Nation Consultation
Huge numbers of people have supported the call for change to Scotland’s food system by sharing their views with Scottish Government.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published a consultation on becoming a Good Food Nation. The consultation asked for people’s views on whether or not we should have a new law on food to help us transition to a fair, healthy and sustainable food system.
The Scottish Food Coalition has campaigned for this new law, dubbed the Good Food Nation Bill, and is delighted to see such strong support among the people of Scotland.
Key themes from the responses to the consultations were:
“Government and public bodies should involve lots of different groups and individuals in making the Good Food Nation plan reality because food should be the concern of everyone in society. Just as importantly, Ministers and public bodies should foster this collaboration in a way that makes it easy for people to understand the plan and to have their voices listened to.”
And one local authority commented that “An overarching framework set out in legislation would go substantially further than existing pieces of legislation and policy that focus on one part of the food system e.g. climate change, diet etc.”, showing clear support for a more joined-up approach to this important area.
A mighty 627 individuals in Scotland sent in their thoughts in detail, and another 470 people responded to the Scottish Food Coalition e-action. This shows just how many people are interested in important issues like changing the food system, and how important public participation is for truly democratic decision-making.
Click here to read the full analysis of the consultation responses here
Today, the Scottish Government published its 2019-2020 Programme for Government, which clarified the intention to propose a Good Food Nation Bill this year. The Scottish Food Coalition (SFC) welcomes news of this commitment in light of the many challenges that the food system is facing.
However, we encourage Scottish Government and elected representatives to ensure this bill will join-up food policy, for example through an ambitious national food plan and the creation of a Food Commission to drive progress towards a healthier, fairer and more sustainable future.
Read more about our ambitions for the Good Food Nation bill below, we believe each of these are essential in our journey towards more coherent, effective, and just food policies:
The SFC and its members are looking forward to working with decision-makers and stakeholders on an ambitious bill that will bring about these much-needed changes for Scotland’s society and environment.
Read the full programme for government here.
We believe that the Good Food Nation bill should be founded on the Right to Food- the core belief that we all have the right to nutritious and sustainable food that is produced within a system that is fair to people, animals and the environment. It is the government’s responsibility to progress towards this goal, which is why we have spearheaded the parliamentary petition to put the Right to Food in Scottish. Together, we managed to gather over 1300 signatures in a couple of weeks!
Let's all keep fighting for a food system that is fair, healthy and sustainable.
In her response, Nicola Sturgeon outlines different initiatives working towards a Good Food Nation agenda that the government is already partaking in. These initiatives include the reconsideration of marketing foods with little or no nutritional levels and the necessity of enshrining food within a human rights framework. Importantly, food insecurity, climate change, animal welfare and health are all issues being considered. Let's keep making our voice heard so we can take these initiatives further and make Scotland a Good Food Nation.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to fast-track changes to Scotland’s food system that would include enshrining the right to food in Scots law.
More than 70 leading charities, academics and special interest groups have joined forces to submit a joint letter to the First Minister calling for the Good Food Nation Bill to be brought forward for a vote before the end of this Parliament in 2021. Click here to see the full letter.