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A Good Food Nation: For All Our Rights

It’s Human Rights Day, and what a day for the last instalment of our crowdfunding blog series. If you believe everyone has the right to be able to eat well, and that collectively we’re entitled to a fair and sustainable food system then this one’s for you.

We’ve been Crowdfunding for our Good Food Nation Campaign – to make sure that the legislation promised by the Scottish Government has at its core a commitment to a life of dignity for everyone in our food system.

 

Human rights are really important – they are the most important type of law we have – they are the map for navigating the vast sea of a relationship between government and people.

In Scotland we’re quite good at human rights. Scotland’s National Action Plan for human rights has been held up as world leading. The Scottish Government and Parliament have been crystal clear throughout all of the constitutional happenings of the last few years that Scotland will always stand up for human rights.

 

Making food rights the framework for the Good Food Nation Bill will do two important things: progress rights by aligning policy and practice, and protect rights by creating opportunities for accountability.

Think progress – If we had a right to food in law our public bodies would have ring-fenced resources for coherent food plans that cut across access, nutrition, culture, environment and production. For example, we would align agricultural support with health and social policy priorities, supporting Scotland’s food producers to nourish us all.

Think protect – If we had a right to food in law it would be much harder for reforms that go back on food rights to happen. For example, this would have made it much harder for the social security reforms and cuts of 2010 onwards to have passed – these cuts ate directly in to people’s food budgets, disproportionately impacting on disabled people, women and children.

This isn’t a new idea – the UK Government signed up to the right to food in 1976 but took no action to make it a reality. This is the Scottish Government’s time to shine and make real it’s vision of being a world leader in green farming, and being the best place to grow up.

The Scottish Government cares a lot about rights – the new Social Security Bill going through the Scottish Parliament right now exemplifies this in its narrative: a rights-based approach. But we need more than narrative for a fair food system – rights need to be woven throughout the very fabric of the Good Food Nation Bill.

This is the last day to support the Crowdfunder. Please chip in whatever you can and tell at least two other people so that everyone can have a seat at the Good Food Nation table.

We’ll used cash raised from the Crowdfunder to run food justice workshops. These workshops bring a human rights analysis in to practical tools that people can use to campaign on the Good Food Nation Bill.