Scottish government to consider access to food right

Angela Constance

The Scottish government is to consider enshrining a right to access to food in Scots law.

The suggestions comes from a report by the Independent Working Group on Food Poverty, which said the change would “not in itself end food insecurity”.

However, it would impose a duty on the government and others to “ensure everyone has secure access to adequate and affordable food”.

According to the Trussell Trust, there has been a rise in the use of food banks in recent years, with issues surrounding benefits identified as the source of the problem.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said: “We have been very clear - no one should have to rely on emergency food provision in a country as prosperous as Scotland.

“As the report from the working group highlighted, food poverty is a symptom of wider poverty and the UK government’s harmful welfare cuts and benefit sanctions regime has clearly pushed more and more people into an income crisis, increasing the demand for emergency food.

“We want to create a sustainable solution to tackling food poverty across Scotland, and therefore I am committed to exploring a range of options, including looking into potentially enshrining the right to food into Scots law.

“We will continue to work closely with individual projects to help them develop sustainable solutions to tackle food poverty.

“This means not only giving people opportunities to access fresh and healthy food, but to share a meal in the community and develop new skills, helping achieve a longer-term solution to food poverty.”