Land Reform Review Group: Submission by Nourish Scotland

Nourish is committed to the principles of food sovereignty as outlined in the Nyeleni declaration and endorsed by a growing range of European, UK and Scottish food and farming organisations. These principles are set out in the Appendix 1 to this submission.

In summary, food sovereignty means putting people’s nutrition and health at the heart of the food system rather than treating food as simply a commodity to be traded. It brings citizens and producers closer together; values diversity and supports agro-ecological production methods; and sees the contribution of small-scale farmers, growers and fishers as key to a secure future.

Nourish welcomes the establishment of the Land Reform Review Group: the ownership and management of Scotland’s land is one of the key factors that shape our food system. We welcome the Review Group’s willingness to look afresh at the relationship between land and people in Scotland – an important relationship that needs to be redefined if we are to meet current and future challenges together.

Surely there is something wrong when, with so little public accountability and so much public money, so much of our land is owned by and managed for the benefit of so few while, at the same time and often only a few miles away, an increasing number of our citizens are coming to depend on food banks to feed their families. In a shrinking world, if our land is not for feeding our people sustainably into the future, then what is it for?

Our suggestions for consideration by the Land Reform Review Group are in four parts:

  • Redefining the rights and responsibilities of public benefit from all land – through creating a right of public benefit from all land in Scotland
  • Greatly increasing access to land for local food production – through two measures:
    • in rural areas, extending crofting tenure and availability of crofts to all parts of Scotland, to match the availability of crofts in Highland Scotland, with a target of 10,000 new crofts in lowland Scotland
    • in urban areas, creating allotments sufficient to meet the needs of all residents, at a ratio of 1 allotment per 1000 residents, or about 50,000 new allotments.
  • Policy measures and levers that could be used to achieve these changes
  • What Nourish Scotland can offer to help the review group look at these proposals.

Read the full Nourish submission to LRRG here.

1 Comment
  1. access to the land and the right of right to cultivate our own food should be considered a principal of a democratic Scotland.
    For too long access to cultivatable land has been the priviledge of the few, determined by corporate profit-making with control of our diet being outwith the hands of the consumer.
    This has resulted in a disconnection with our environment and seasonal change alongside a dependence on high fuel tarriff foodstuffs with a concommitant reduction in general health of the population and reduced autonomy of life choices.
    The scottish government has the opportunity in the immediate future to return the option of healthy diet choices to the people of scotland and a return to a lifestyle not dependent on high energy cost foodstuffs