Becoming a Good Food Nation
The RSE has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a new national food and drink policy for 2015. Welcoming the vision set out for Scotland as a ‘Good Food Nation’, the RSE has called for this to be tempered by a degree of realism on the timescales envisaged for achieving the desired outcomes.
The Scottish Government’s discussion document sets out ambitions to improve the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s people through ‘good food choices’; to ensure availability of better quality, sustainably produced food across all outlets; and to grow Scotland’s food and drink sector both at home and in international markets. Each of these goals is commendable, but it is crucial that the policy recognises potential conflicts among some of these elements, and makes clear the principles that will guide its priorities.
The RSE’s response also:
- Emphasises the benefits of learning from experiences and practice in tackling these issues across the UK, Europe and further afield.
- Highlights the need for the proposed Food Commission to have a clear remit and position among the numerous public and representative bodies already working on delivering the ambitions set out in the Good Food Nation vision.
- Calls for clarity on the role of the Food Commission “to advise on broad spending priorities e.g. food grants or the Strategic Research Programme”; noting the importance of maintaining food research within the inter-disciplinary remit of the Rural Environment Science and Analytical division of the Scottish Government.
- Welcomes in particular the recognition of the need for leadership by the public sector in ensuring that healthy, sustainable, high quality food is available across the public estate.