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ALLIANCE response to Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 16th December 2021
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The ALLIANCE has responded to the Scottish Government's Good Food Nation Bill.

The ALLIANCE has responded to the Scottish Government’s Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill (this link will take you away form our website).

The ALLIANCE welcomes the commitments in the Bill to require Ministers and public bodies to produce good food nation plans and publish and report on those plans. Keeping food as a key policy concern is important if Scotland is to counter injustices in our current food system. However, along with the wider membership of the Scottish Food Coalition, we suggest that the scope of the Bill should be expanded, and more detail added to key commitments, to see meaningful progress in this area. We suggest that the Bill should be amended to achieve the following:

Provide greater clarity as to the parameters and requirements for the Good Food Nation plans. Plans should acknowledge and respond to people’s right to access nutritious, sustainable and safe food, in a culturally appropriate manner. If the Bill does not provide further detail as to what plans are required to cover, there is a risk that some will default only to economic costs and goals.

Include stronger accountability and transparency measures. At present there is no clear method by which Ministers and public bodies will be held accountable for the delivery of commitments. In order to ensure that food remains a priority, and the follow best practice within human rights based approaches, the Bill should empower an independent body to ensure good practice can be shared and problems with plans can be highlighted and countered. This would also aid in ensuring equitable access to food for people across Scotland. Without an accountability system to ensure minimum standards of planning are met, there is a risk that people in parts of Scotland will have different access to food – despite access to food being a human right.

Detail key policy targets. The Bill should include specific targets for Good Food plans, to assist in setting baseline activity and in keeping progress on food as a key priority. For example, this could include ensuring that all health and social care staff are trained in identifying malnutrition by 2023.

Improve the transparency of process. The Bill as it stands would benefit from being strengthened in terms of scrutiny and transparency. There is no stated obligation for public bodies to bring plans to Parliament, or for either Ministers or public bodies to involve Parliamentarians in drafting and developing plans.

Ensure participation and co-production rather than occasional consultation. While mention is made of occasional consultation, there is no commitment to meaningful co-production of plans, nor any guidance on the necessary range of stakeholders or feedback loops therein. It is essential that plans are co-produced with a range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience of food poverty and for whom access to food is difficult.

You can read the full ALLIANCE response via the link below.

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