…and we need to work together to get it where it needs to be.
Blink and you’ve missed it: the long-awaited Good Food Nation Bill was published by the Government just over a week ago. The Bill has come a long way, and over the past 5 years there have been many twists and turns, and moments where legislation was no certain thing. It’s a testament to the continued support from many stakeholders in the system: NGOs, trade unions, the public and even the industry that the Bill has made it this far.
We’re not finished with the journey just yet – and this is when the road gets interesting. Now that the Bill has been introduced, we’re getting to work on making sure it’s strong enough to make a difference.
There is plenty to be done! The Bill is only a draft and over the next few months it will go through three stages of parliamentary scrutiny. There will be opportunities for showing public support and for internal advocacy. If your interested in more details, please see our GFN Bill briefing.
What is in the Bill at the moment?
The draft Bill includes two of the 5 Asks for the Bill: putting duties on Local Authorities and an obligation to create National Food Plans. There are also reporting duties placed on Scottish Ministers to keep the parliament updated on the progress of the Food Plans every 2 years,
We believe this will help focus minds and join the dots in the food system, including between food insecurity, public health and workers’ rights. However, there is a number of key things provisions from the Bill.
While we welcome the Bill’s introduction, there are a range of measures that are still needed in order to strengthen the Bill. This includes ensuring it is in line with future ambitions with regard to human rights and environmental protection. There are 5 key things we will be calling for:
- clarity of purpose
- accountability through an independent Food Commission
- targets to measure progress
- transparency and parliamentary oversight
- public participation
Looking ahead – hopeful and determined
Each of our asks has a precedent in other Scottish legislation. From the statement of purpose in the Social Security Act 2018, to Scottish Land Commission, to the citizens assembly established by Climate Change Act 2019, there is plenty in our existing policy to draw inspiration from. With no shortage of examples of good practice, there’s no reason Scotland can’t have the food systems Bill we deserve and need.
For more information, or if you would like to join the campaign for a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system in Scotland’s food system please email firstname.lastname@example.org