A Food, Farming and Health Act. Scotland can address food insecurity while providing tasty, nutritious food in environmentally positive ways. Food currently spans a range of policy areas from health and land use to environment, making it difficult to coordinate action to reform food systems. We support Nourish Scotland’s call for an Act to provide a framework to deliver a range of food policies addressing health, environment and social justice concerns. It would: provide the basis for a new social contract between citizens, farmers, food producers and the wider industry; set a range of targets such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food production; address rising food insecurity amongst Scotland’s poorest; establish a statutory commission to monitor progress and report annually to Parliament; incorporate the Right to Food in Scots law, as set out in the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Support for farms that provide public benefit. Common Agricultural Policy reform has recently changed the support available to agriculture but payment systems have failed. Green MSPs will champion a system that supports farmers and is clearly tied to the delivery of public benefits such as rural jobs, water management, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. We will also support the development and implementation of a Scottish Organic Action Plan led by the Scottish Organic Forum with targets for increasing organic production.
Promote community food hubs. Localising our food system supports local economies. We will support the promotion of community food hubs across Scotland, bringing farmers and consumers together to shorten food chains. These hubs can promote cooking and growing know-how, building links between communities local farmers and food co-operatives.
- Support for new farmers. It is increasingly tough for those from non-farming backgrounds to access the land and opportunities to build farming experience. Green MSPs will push to expand the mentoring schemes currently in place to provide training and in-work placements for young farmers and new entrants. We will urge the Scottish Government to shift its New Entrants to Farming programme to support environmentally and economically sustainable farming while our land reform proposals will improve access to suitable land.