e have a food market monopolised by a handful of companies and health and nutrition targetsthat we’re struggling to meet.
ese ideas are all about creating more joined up thinking in how we grow, consume and distribute our food and a more diverse economic model. It’s also aboutcreating some real urgency about the real problems we face in our health and in our environmentalchallenges in Scotland. At the moment there are some great things happening in the sustainable foodmovement, in community development and in environmental protection. But we su
er from operatingin a society of silos: where the crops in our ﬁelds and the food on our plates are completely disconnected.
In 2008 the Scottish Government developed our ﬁrst nationalfood policy, emanating from ‘Choosing the Right Ingredients’came ‘A Recipe for Success’ (2009). It was ground-breaking intrying to develop a ‘cross-cutting’ policy and putting a
ordability and local sustainable food at the heart of plans for changing the way we grow and eat our food. It promised a ‘holistic approach’ when awarding food and catering contracts, the adoption of sustainable food procurement as a corporate objective for allpublic sector organisations, the extension of free school lunches,increase in the uptake of healthy start vouchers for pregnant women and children.It’s seen some notable success: there’s undoubtedly a revival of interest and pride in Scottish food, and sales in the food industry are up. At the heart of some of this success has been the ClimateChallenge Fund that continues to support the Fife Diet’s work.But it’s not just us: “Our £27 million Climate Challenge Fund hashelped over 250 communities reduce their emissions, saving anestimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2.
at’s the equivalent of taking225,000 cars o
Scotland’s roads. Over half these projects havefocused partly or wholly on food sustainability, representing £9million in funding.”But the world has changed a lot in four years. Our economy hasfaltered.
ere is a fundamental revaluation of the values that haveguided our economy for so long. Do we really want export growthto be the main measurement we use to chart ‘success’ in food? If we look at nutrition or other health indicators we’re ﬂat-lining. Weneed to be bolder and take some fresh-thinking.Under Labour, the plan to ban smoking in public places has been ahuge success with a reported 15% drop in childhood asthma ratesafter three years. Under the SNP the plans to introduce a minimumprice for alcohol o
er another huge step in tackling Scotland’sproblem relationship with drinking. We need some of the sameradicalism and foresight to tackle some of the other huge issues we have around food and environment.
is could start with amoratorium on supermarket expansion, and a focus on ensuring ahealthy food system and a healthy society through a whole host of initiatives, including those outlined in the manifesto below.
e way we grow, distribute and consume our food creates 31% of our greenhouse gas emissionsi. Yet our food policy has no real plansto start radically shifting this impact and is entirely disconnected toour ambitious and world-leading climate change targets.
e purpose of the manifesto is to try and help build a food culturein which communities can begin to be part of a restorative practicefor a better food system. We propose ‘food sovereignty replacing‘food security’ as the guiding principle of our policy, and explorethe opportunities for collaborative gains between the agendas of community food and health, a
ordability and sustainability.
THE POLICIES FALL UNDER FOUR THEMES:
ese ideas have been formed out of ﬁve years working to explore a more sustainable food practice.We recently held a series of discussion groups in Stirling and would like to thank the following for their input:
Robin Gourlay, Professor Annie Anderson (Professor of Public Health Nutrition), Sascha Grierson, Bill Gray (Community Food & Health Scotland),Peter Brown (SFQC Director and SFQC’s Project Manager for
e Larder), Donald Reid, Pat Abel (Nourish), Laura Stewart (Soil Association) and Kate Campbell (Eco Schools).
We would also like to thank:
Clem Sandison, Joanna Blythman, Jo Hunt, Antonia Ineson, Eva Schonveld, Justin Kenrick, Colin Lindsay, Wendy Gudmundsson, Patrick Mulvany,Andy Wightman and Phil Hanlon for their support and ideas.
Mike Small & Teresa Martinez