UPDATE – 16 June 2022

I am pleased to report that the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill was passed into law on 15 June. It was amended to include the establishment of an independent commission to oversee implementation of its many important clauses.

I was fortunate to be selected to speak in the debate and you can see my contribution on my YouTube channel or by clicking the image below.


I was delighted to be able to quote Evie Murray, longstanding member of the Scottish Food Coalition and CEO and Founder of Earth in Common, who have been calling for legislation to support all aspects of Scotland’s food for some time.

‘It is very significant that the Scottish Government has recognised the importance of an independent food commission to oversee the implementation of the Good Food Nation Bill. Without it, the bill would have been toothless—not a good thing when it comes to food!

This signals that our political representatives acknowledge the importance of food in our society. They recognise its influence on people’s wellbeing (not only in terms of diet, but also through the way it can bring individuals and communities together). They wish to properly value those who produce sustainable and high-quality food. They take animal welfare seriously, and are concerned about our food system’s impacts on biodiversity and climate (climate being, of course, just one way in which what we produce, export and import impacts people beyond our borders).

‘With such a commission Scotland is setting an example to the rest of the world. I believe that this cross-cutting, commission-backing legislation will produce multiple benefits for the people of Scotland and that other countries will follow suit.’

I hope the implementation of this legislation will live up to expectations and I will do what I can to support it.

#goodfoodnation #scotlandsfoodanddrink #schoolmeals #climateemergencynow


Original Post – 8 June 2022

You may be aware of the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to parliament last October. On 14 June it comes to parliament again for its final stage – stage 3 – when a whole lot of amendments will be debated and agreed (or not). It will then become our newest law.

This bill may seem on the face of it like something on the edge of policy, or a nice to have add-on. But, just as the food we eat is fundamental to our health and our ability to enjoy a fulfilling life, this law will underpin almost everything we will be able to do across these policy areas – healthy eating, school meals and hospital catering, supporting local food producers, maintaining food standards – while we are outwith the EU and after we return! This is why organisations such as Nourish Scotland, the Soil Association, the Scottish Food Coalition, the RSPB and other environmental organisations welcome the bill and want to see it implemented and all the follow on actions supported.


It’s a significant piece of legislation, obligating the Scottish Government to prepare a national good food nation plan within 12 months. Preparation must take account of all the following:

  • the fact that each part of the food system and supply chain plays an important role in the provision of food
  • the role of sustainable food production in contributing to mitigation of climate change, halting and reversing of loss of biodiversity and improvement in animal welfare
  • the ability of high quality, nutritious and culturally appropriate food to improve the health and physical and mental wellbeing of people
  • the fact that adequate food is a human right (as part of the right to an adequate standard of living set out in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and essential to the realisation of other human rights
  • the importance of the food business sector— (i) continuing to be a thriving part of the Scottish economy (ii) having resilient supply chains iii) operating with fair work standards (iv) in contributing to resilient local economies across Scotland.


All of this is hugely important as we tackle issues of food security – being able to feed ourselves with more locally sourced, affordable, high quality produce. Global hunger – supporting countries to use their land and water to feed themselves and develop well being economies. Climate emergency – ensuring land is used sustainably so there is long term ability to feed ourselves and others. Health and wellbeing – supporting healthy eating among children and the rest of us, so we are healthy both physically and mentally and able to enjoy active and productive lives.

I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, has accepted an important amendment that will add the creation of an independent commission to the legislation. This is required to ensure all of the above action takes place and in the timescale set out.

You can watch the debate on www.scottishparliament.tv on 14 June starting from 14:20 onwards. Get in touch with me if you have specific questions about this bill or information you’d like to share with me.

#goodfoodnation #scotlandsfoodanddrink #schoolmeals #climateemergencynow