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Scotland – sustainable food
Scotland’s Sustainable Food Network
What’s the problem?
• Health – our diet is part of why we die young
in Scotland
• Climate change: food accounts for 25-30% of
greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change
threatens global food security (ASDA)
• Inequality – household food insecurity, food
• Ecosystem – we’re eating species, degrading
soil, clearing forests and using fossil water
We want to see a Scotland where…
• We eat more of what we produce and
produce more of what we eat
• You can find healthy, local, seasonal, organic
food anywhere in Scotland
• Being interested in good food isn’t seen as
• Everyone can afford to feed themselves and
their family well
• There is a diversity of thriving small food
How do we get there?
Change what we eat
Change how we farm
Change local food economies
Change policy
change what we eat
We should eat more veg, a lot more: like Germany
• And less sugar
• And less and better meat, with less soya in it
• And less highly processed stuff, and watch out
for palm oil and unsustainable fish
• But we don’t have to cook everything ourselves
• National and local government can lead through
example and procurement
• More people, communities and cities can grow
some of their own food
• Making all this socially acceptable is tough;
preaching doesn’t work: ISM framework helps.
Change how we farm
• Zero carbon, natural capital enhancing, agroecological,
resource use efficient
• More small, mixed farms located in or connected to
urban areas
• Home grown protein, grass fed beef, dual purpose
dairies, agroforestry
• Respected profession, more women, CPD, support for
new entrants
• Subsidies for public good, not just ‘help to own’
change local food economies
• Mixed economy of food – co-operatives and social
enterprises in production, processing distribution,
retailing, catering (cf housing)
• Investment in short, resilient, low carbon supply
chains as much as exports
• Ensure local food ubiquitous in shops, schools,
hospitals, cafes, events
• Add value through local processing
• Horizontal integration of public procurement to
provide anchor
change policy
• At EU level: towards a common sustainable food
policy, with public subsidies for public good
• At member state level: integration of policies on
health, equality, climate change, biodiversity,
community empowerment, procurement,
education, social enterprise, planning, local
economy, R&D, use of subsidies etc to create
sustainable food nation
• At local authority/city level: engage communities
and local public bodies in strategic approach with
identified local leadership
Current work
• New farmer programme – training future farmers
• Sustainable food cities work in Edinburgh and
• Advocating for policy change; more sustainable food
procurement; a greener agricultural policy with a
greater rural development focus and a planning
policy that “does” food.
• Surveying the local food economy
Third sector challenges
• Community-scale action
- community food co-operatives, linked to
community retail and community catering
- Community growing, right to grow, urban
- Community finance, food credit unions
alternatives to food banks, community shares
Care sector
• More people receiving care and support at
home or in residential settings than children
at school
• Lack of food/nutrition culture
• Cultural change/skills agenda
• ‘Good food’ commitment needed
Environment sector
• Need to join up climate change and
biodiversity issues with food system
• Largest source of ghg emissions and
biodiversity loss
• Opportunity for stronger food and
environment coalition to make best use of
RDP and press for change