*This article was first published in the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper on the 12th of March 2019*

The Lothian’s are home to some of Scotland’s best food and drink producers and worldwide we have a reputation for producing high quality products fuelling international demand.

This is why I am welcoming the launch of the Scottish Government consultation on Good Food Nation legislation.

Due to close on the 29th of March, the consultation seeks public views on what should be included in a new law for Scotland’s food system.

Scottish Labour have called on the Scottish Government to include a statutory right to food in the Good Food Nation bill.

Reformation of our food system is long overdue. We advertise Scotland as a nation of food and drink, yet over a third of people in the Lothian’s worry about putting food on the table.

An ever-increasing number of people continue to be priced out of a decent diet, forced to rely on food banks and suffering from poor nutrition. We undervalue the people who work to produce and process food, the wildlife, natural resources and farm animals that all form part of our food system.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

I believe there should be a statutory right to food, which joins up all policies related to food and has the power to measure the government’s success in feeding its people.

We need to work together to push for change. I would therefore urge everyone in Edinburgh and across the Lothian region to respond to the consultation and make their voice heard.

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