On Monday evening Dundee City Council considered a report on Local Food Growing. The report is here from pages 35 to 68. I was really pleased that the committee agreed to support the amendment which I put forward calling for the Right to Food to be included in Scots Law.
As I said when the food growing policy was brought forward in January 2019 I think that there is much that we could do to support local food growing and I am supportive of this policy in general.
There are a lot a great initiatives across Dundee which are doing much to encourage local food growing and I want the council to continue to support these.
The Labour Group fully support efforts to grow more food locally and are calling on Dundee City Council to support these important policies.
The report drew attention to the Sustainable Development Goals. Scotland rightly supports the Sustainable Development Goals and these should influence policy here. Sustainable Development Goal 2 calls for Zero Hunger, obviously this is important in the developing world, but it equally applies here in Dundee. Nobody should go hungry in Dundee.
The report also referred to the Good Food Nation Bill. Unfortunately, the Scottish Government has said that due to time constraints it will not be taking the bill forward in this term of the Scottish Parliament.
I support the Good Food Nation Bill. The Labour Group was disappointed that the Good Food Nation Bill will not be taken forward by the Scottish Government in this term of the Scottish Parliament. We want Dundee City Council to ask the Scottish Government to bring forward this bill now. As part of that we want the Right to Food to be included in Scots Law.
The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated something that was evident to many prior to the pandemic that too many people in Dundee do not have access to the appropriate amount of food
Throughout the pandemic the work of many local people through local groups and foodbanks has fed many people in Dundee and the city should thank all those people who have played a role in ensuring that families are fed in these difficult times.
But, in 2020 it is a disgrace that some people in Dundee and across the country cannot easily adequately feed their families. The Right to Food in Scots Law would impact on many aspects of policy and would ensure that families had access to the resources and support that would allow them to feed themselves. I was pleased that Dundee City Council agreed to make clear its support for the Bill proposed by Elaine Smith MSP to incorporate the Right to Food into Scots Law.
This amendment allows us to say that we think that the Right to Food should explicitly be in Scots Law.
As a Scottish Labour and Co-operative councillor I have been supporting the Co-operative Party's Food Justice campaign.
I hope that these actions by Dundee City Council will go some way to ending the scandal of anyone going hungry in Dundee in 2020.