School of Social and Political Science

Doing Better – A Good Food Nation for Scotland


Date & Time

Part of the FRIED seminar series


Online - email for Teams meeting link


A Scotland:

  • Where we all meet our recommended dietary goals;
  • Where dietary related illnesses are the exception not the norm;
  • Where our most vulnerable are adequately housed, fed with dignity and supported to rise out of poverty;
  • Where we do no harm to our natural land, water and marine resources and reverse declining biodiversity
  • Where we use farming techniques which work in harmony with our natural resources and raise livestock to the highest international welfare standards;
  • Where creative public food procurement is used to support local enterprises, create skilled jobs, and sustain communities:
  • Where our agri-food workers are valued for the essential work they do, afforded greater job protection and security, paid at least a living wage and supported to enhance their skills;
  • Where communities use food to reduce social isolation, improve physical and mental wellbeing, and enhance community cohesion

is neither difficult to imagine nor politically contested.

What has been difficult though is just how messy, protracted and interrupted progress towards this attainable vision for a fairer, healthier and sustainable Scotland has been.

Drawing on my experiences as Chair of the Scottish Food Coalition (2018-currrent) and our recent EU Horizon 2020 Strength 2 Food Project (2016-2021), I will provide a critical overview of the recently introduced (Oct 7th 2021) Good Food Nation Bill in Scotland.  Building on this, and using the example of School Food, I will argue that it is only by embracing the messiness, complexities and inherent tensions associated with food systems transformation that real progress can be made towards enhancing not only the health and wellbeing of our people, communities and businesses but also that of our animals and fish, land, water and natural environment.  

Key speakers

  • Prof Mary Brennan, University of Edinburgh Business School