I and my Scottish Labour colleagues believes that our food system in Scotland should contribute to everyone’s health and wellbeing, value the work to put food on our plate, support high animal welfare standards, protect workers’ pay, terms and conditions, and sustain our wildlife, natural resources and environment for generations to come.
The global food system is broken and causing a whole raft of societal issues, including contributing to the nature and climate crises. Food systems are reliant on functioning ecosystems to produce food.
Scottish Labour will work to safeguard the sustainability of the food sector – from farmers, fishers and growers, to processors, packagers, and retailers – including supporting their steps to working towards net zero ambition. The biggest threat to our future food security is climate change and Labour believe that delivering for both people and climate must go hand in hand.
Climate change is already impacting our domestic food industry and so we need to work collectively, and with the food sector in particular, on adaptations and mitigations. Extreme weathers like the snow that came with the Beast from the East, and the heatwave of 2022, heavily affect farming and our food production levels. These will likely become increasingly the norm and we need to be preparing for this now.
I am bringing forward a Right to Food bill to ensure that everyone has a basic right to food to improve access to healthy food, and that food production contributes to address the climate crisis. UK Labour has pledged that 50% of all food bought by the public sector will be food produced locally and sustainably. Using procurement as a means to encourage more Scottish climate-conscious food is also a lever the SNP could choose to utilise, but have failed to do so.
Thanks again for raising this issue with me.