The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Islands & Natural Environment (RAINE) Committee is leading the scrutiny of the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill. The Bill requires the Scottish Government and relevant authorities (e.g. health boards and local authorities) to create good food nation plans to support social and economic wellbeing, the environment, health, and economic development. Relevant authorities must have regard to the Scottish Government’s good food nation plan when drafting their own. Voluntary Health Scotland responded to the committee’s call for views which closed on Wednesday 5 January. Responding to the call for views was made significantly easier due to the incredibly helpful guidance produced by the Scottish Food Coalition to inform responses. We are very grateful to the coalition for taking the time to produce this.
Access to food is synonymous with public health and is something our members have consistently expressed a great interest in. VHS therefore welcomed the opportunity to contribute to this first stage of the process. Our response focuses on two key areas of food policy: consumption and insecurity. We feel there has been a missed opportunity in this Bill to address these issues and the right to food.
We also believe it is important that scrutiny of the Bill goes beyond the RAINE Committee and gathers input the Health, Social Care & Sport Committee along with the Equalities, Human Rights & Civil Justice Committee. The climate and agriculture agenda is often considered separate to the health agenda, when both are intrinsically linked. The effects of climate change on agriculture and the price of food will have a real impact on people’s access to food. This will have implications for people’s diets and health outcomes alongside the prevalence of food poverty.
You can read our full response here: VHS consultation response Stage 1 Good Food Nation Bill December 2021
For further information please contact Kimberley Somerside, Policy Engagement Officer: Kimberley.firstname.lastname@example.org