Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance MSP has confirmed that she is considering putting the right to food into Scots law.
The Scottish Food Coalition has campaigned for taking a rights-based approach to tackling food poverty, arguing that everyone should have access to adequate food with choice and dignity.
The announcement comes as the Minister responded to the recommendations of the Short-Life Working Group on food poverty. Angela Constance indicated that the right to food would be considered as part of the wider Good Food Nation agenda.
"A key part of this engagement would be exploring further your recommendation regarding the right to food and whether this ought to be considered for inclusion within the Good Food Nation Bill. "
At the Scottish Food Coalition, we're delighted that the Scottish Government is exploring a joined up approach to food policy and considering this important step of incorporating the right to food in Scots Law.
The full report from the Short-Life Working Group on Food Poverty is available here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/8020
The response from the Cabinet Secretary is available here: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/food-poverty-response-to-working-group/Scottish%20Government%20response%20to%20Food%20Poverty%20Short-Life%20Working%20Group%20Nov%202016.pdf?inline=true
The Scottish Government press release on making the right to food a reality is available here: http://news.gov.scot/news/making-the-right-to-food-a-reality
Finally, Nourish's evidence to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is available here: http://www.nourishscotland.org/nourish-report-to-un-cescr/
Turning the Tables is an exciting new programme by Nourish Scotland to build capacity across Scotland for the transformation of our food system. It’s aimed at people who would like to be trained up and supported to facilitate workshops and/or events in their own communities, organisations and networks about the food system and how to change it.
The training sessions will take place on the 18th & 19th of August and the 10th & 11th of November 2016 in Edinburgh. You can find more information here. Deadline for applications is the 20th of June.
With commitments from major parties it looks like new legislation for our food system is firmly set on the political agenda, whatever the outcome on May 5th.
SNP Manifesto: "We will bring forward a Good Food Nation Bill to draw together all aspects of the Scottish Government’s work on food and drink – including food standards, public procurement and food waste. We will implement our Good Food Nation policy drawing on the expertise on the Scottish Food Commission and civic society."
Scottish Greens Manifesto: A Food, Farming and Health Act. Scotland can address food insecurity while providing tasty, nutritious food in environmentally positive ways. Food currently spans a range of policy areas from health and land use to environment, making it difficult to coordinate action to reform food systems. We support Nourish Scotland’s call for an Act to provide a framework todeliver a range of food policies addressing health, environment and socialjustice concerns.
The Scottish Labour Manifesto is yet to be released, but Kezia Dugdale has clearly signalled that they too would bring forward a 'Food and Farming' Bill.
At the Scottish Food Coalition we believe that for legislation to provide a framework for a real transformation of our food system, it must contain provisions for democratic governance, as well as progressive policies
More here: http://www.nourishscotland.org/legislation-create-real-good-food-nation/
The Scottish Government has published a ‘suite’ of statutory guidance on public procurement under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
Procurement can and should be used to extend the Living Wage, address fair work practices, help public bodies contribute to Scotland’s climate targets and promote ethical & fair trade and positive social outcomes.
Although progress is being made, the changes could go further to ensure that public money is being used to promote a socially and environmentally just society.
For more information, please see the briefing from Unison Scotland
RSPB Scotland's prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards are now open for entries and nominations, this year with a new 'Food and Farming' category.
The Nature of Scotland Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature conservation. More information is available on the website.
The deadline for entries is 13th June.
As the election campaign gathers pace, the Scottish Greens have committed to introducing a Food, Farming and Health Act in the next Parliament.
The Scottish Food Coalition believes that framework legislation is required to facilitate a just transition to a better food system. More information on the campaign for a Food, Farming and Health Act is available here.
The Scottish Food Coalition's report, Plenty: Food, Farming and Health in a New Scotland, was quoted several times during a Parliamentary debate on Scotland's Food Future on 18th March.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead commended it as 'first class' and stated 'the report certainly gives us many ideas for how we can get to a much better place in the future'.
There is a full transcript of the debate available here and you can also watch the debate here.