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A Right to Food in Scotland?

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Webinar by Mary Brennan of the Scottish Food Coalition, and Sarah Boyack MSP

About this Event

To mark World Food Day 2020, LSA is delivering this webinar on one of the most pressing issues in Scotland — the right to food

CPD 1.5 hours

PEAT Outcome - Relevant legal knowledge

OBJECTIVES

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown Scotland’s food system into sharp focus. Food bank usage has soared. Producers have been forced to dump stock. For many of us, it has highlighted the critical importance of access to healthy food - a basic need that we so often take for granted. From food poverty to food waste, the challenges facing our nation, although more acute now, have existed long before the crisis. The Scottish Government has been called upon to incorporate the right to food into domestic law so that we can effectively navigate these challenges and make this right meaningful for everyone in Scotland.

This webinar will explore the current state of our food system and some of the specifically legal issues; notably, Scotland’s international commitments and the value in adopting a human rights based method of governance. It will discuss the following areas:

  • The Scottish food system — key challenges and case studies
  • The proposed Right to Food (Scotland) Bill

The first presentation will cover the key challenges facing our food system and the difficulties with the current form of governance. How will a human rights approach better tackle these problems? What does ‘the right to food’ actually mean?

The second presentation will discuss Scotland’s obligation to protect the right to food under international law, and the key aims and aspects of the recently proposed Bill that seeks to enshrine this human right into Scots law.

PARTICIPANTS

This Zoom webinar will be relevant to a range of people including legal practitioners, academics, students and generally those who are actively working to combat the challenges facing Scotland’s food system.

SPEAKERS

Mary Brennan, Chair of Food Marketing and Society, University of Edinburgh Business School. Mary is an experienced research leader who explores the complex relationships people have with food, and how these shape everyday food practices and underpin contemporary food policy challenges.

Mary is an active member of Food Researchers in Edinburgh Network, an interdisciplinary group that brings together academics, students and others in and around the University. Its research focuses on a variety of angles, from inequalities in food access to food production to health and well-being. Mary is also the Chair of the Scottish Food Coalition, an alliance of organisations working to transform the food system in Scotland so it is healthier, fairer and more sustainable. Currently, Mary is a member of the Academy of Marketing, the Academy of Marketing Science, and the International Association of Food Protection. Her work has been published in a wide range of journals and she has delivered seminars to numerous international organisations including the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the University of Oxford - Centre for Population Ageing.

Sarah Boyack MSP, Scottish Labour. Sarah is a Scottish Labour politician, currently the Scottish Parliament member for Lothians and Local Government spokesperson.

Sarah was elected to the new Scottish Parliament in 1999 and served with First Minister Donald Dewar. She was Minister for Transport and the Environment and Convenor of the Environment and Rural Committee. As a Labour MSP for Lothian 2007-16 Sarah served in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet as Environment and Rural Affairs, Local Government and Planning and then Environmental Justice. After a brief hiatus, she returned to the Scottish Parliament in 2019. Outside of her Parliamentary work, Sarah has lectured on Planning and Environmental Studies at Heriot Watt University and worked for the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations as Head of Public Affairs.

Sarah is committed to environmental causes and is a member of Friends of the Earth Scotland. In 2004 she received the RSPB Goldcrest Award for the most outstanding contribution to the development of environmental policy in Scotland since devolution. She was also named the Scottish Renewables Best Politician in 2015.

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