Our Vision for a Good Food Nation
The public plate feeds some of the most vulnerable people in society, in our hospitals, schools, care homes, and prisons. It is uniquely placed to set the tone of the nation’s relationship with its food by tackling health inequalities and creating environments where it is normal, easy, and enjoyable for everyone to eat well.
That’s why, in our response to Scottish Government’s public consultation on Good Food Nation legislation, we’re calling for Scotland’s public sector to become a beacon of good food. Our public bodies can – and should – be leading the way when it comes to making good food the easy choice for everyone in Scotland.
That means serving food that is not only good for people’s health, but good for the environment and for local economies too.
We want to see duties on public bodies duties to consider how they buy food, feed their staff and their services users, and whether their business decisions support a Good Food Nation. These responsibilities must be owned by senior management, not divided up into different departments where opportunities to link up the health, social, environmental, and economic benefits of food could be missed.
Furthermore, public sector procurement is one of the most effective tools we have to support the many Scottish farmers who are working hard to produce food in a way that protects our environment and creates thriving rural communities. Clear targets and reporting duties on good food for public sector bodies, along with support from Government to protect and invest in food infrastructure, would help to create a stable market for Scottish farmers and growers.
We know that this is possible. Across Denmark, Public Organic Procurement Policies (POPPs) have been used with great success since the 2000's as the country aims to increase the amount of organic food sourced by public kitchens to 60% before 2020.
Through our work on the Scottish Government funded Food for Life Scotland programme, we’ve seen first hand the great work already happening in many local authorities to deliver good food in primary schools. The example of our 12 Food for Life Served Here local authority award holders shows it is possible to serve freshly prepared, locally sourced, sustainable food in public kitchens.
It’s time for the public sector to step up to the plate and make good food a reality. With international examples like France and Denmark currently blazing a trail, Scottish Government must act now and enshrine good food into legislation. It is the only way to realise our ambition to become a Good Food Nation.