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Good Food Nation consultation response: right to food 'must be incorporated into Scots law'

20 December 2021

Children in Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Good Food Nation Bill, calling for the right to food to be incorporated into Scots law.

The Bill proposes new legislation covering ‘the interconnected mechanisms of how food is produced, harvested, processed, distributed, sold, marketed, consumed and wasted’.

In our response we make clear our fundamental belief that all children, young people and families have the right to food, a right which extends to food that is adequate in terms of nutrition, safety and cultural appropriateness.

Amy Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, said:

"In our response to the Proposed Right to Food (Scotland) Bill of September 2020, we asserted that incorporating a right to food would give children, young people and families a necessary mechanism for redress if they are facing food insecurity.

"We see this as a key measure of accountability for ensuring that the Scottish Government meets its obligation to provide all children, young people and families with access to healthy, affordable food and drink.

"A right to food is about more than food insecurity – it is about taking a whole-systems approach to tackling challenges such as poverty, diet-related illness and climate change.

"It has an opportunity to play a transformative role in supporting children, young people and families who most struggle to access food."

Within our consultation response, we also call for the Good Food Nation Bill to make a direct reference to the incoming new multi-treaty Human Rights Bill.

We understand that this is being committed to as part of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership's new framework for human rights for Scotland.

The Human Rights Bill includes the incorporation of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This encompasses a right to adequate food as an essential part of the overall right to an adequate standard of living.

Nourish Scotland's Senior Projects Officer Stephanie Mander writes about the Good Food Nation Bill proposals in the first edition of Insight, our new members' publication.

In her article Stephanie calls for the Bill to include:

  • clear policy targets
  • meaningful engagement with young people, and
  • transparency on the tools for holding Ministers or public bodies to account with regard to the legislation.

Click here to read our consultation response in full

For more information about Insight and how you can become a member of Children in Scotland, click here to read the news story on the publication launch.

For more information about International School Meals Day, which is managed by Children in Scotland, click here to visit the home page.


Proposed legislation

Find out more about the Scottish Government's Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill

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Children in Scotland's Manifesto 2021-26

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Food, Families, Futures (2016-2020)

Our award-winning project addressed the underlying causes of food insecurity

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Our new publication for members of Children in Scotland

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