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Good Food Nation Bill to ensure quality food available for all

By Ewan Malcolm

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PUBLIC bodies are preparing plans to make good quality food accessible to all people in Scotland.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon with Scotland's national chef, Gary Maclean.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon with Scotland's national chef, Gary Maclean.

The plans will help to ensure that good quality, locally sourced and produced food is available to everyone under the new legislation.

The Bill lays the foundation for Scotland to become a Good Food Nation where the food system is fairer for everybody.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: "We are committed to ensuring everyone in Scotland has access to healthy, nutritious fare and that businesses and public kitchens commit to producing, selling and serving good food.

"Organisations can play a leading role in this process – looking at how they boost local procurement, cut down food waste and packaging, use in-season produce as well disposing of food waste in an environmentally friendly way.

"But that's not all. For example, a wide ranging food education can equip school pupils with the key skills they need to cook tasty, nutritious meals using the incredible array of world-class produce we have, but also to make informed food choices when they are away from home.

"We have been working across government through an extensive programme of measures to deliver on our ambition to be a Good Food Nation and our work to deliver action and practical measures will continue throughout this Parliament, not least to encourage the use of sustainable local produce and to help our children eat well."

Work on the Good Food Nation Bill started before the pandemic. However, this paused in early 2020 to allow time for implementing emergency Covid-19 legislation.

It's introduction follows other healthy eating initiatives in Scotland including the Healthy Living Programme, Food for Life Programme and new school food and drink regulations which increased the amount of fruit and vegetables offered to children each school day.

The Scottish Government is also considering the need for a statutory body such as a Food Commission.

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