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The Fife Diet is developing a new food manifesto for Scotland as a contribution to the food and drink policy framework.


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Connect the way we grow, produce, distribute and consume our food with our climate change targets Connect the environmental policy framework to our health and well-being initiatives.

Look afresh at the values that underpin how we organise our food economy.

The Food Manifesto is printed on 100% recycled paper. The bag is hand stamped and made from recycled kraft paper.

e have a food market monopolised by a handful of companies and health and nutrition targets that we’re struggling to meet. These ideas are all about creating more joined up thinking in how we grow, consume and distribute our food and a more diverse economic model. It’s also about creating some real urgency about the real problems we face in our health and in our environmental challenges in Scotland. At the moment there are some great things happening in the sustainable food movement, in community development and in environmental protection. But we suffer from operating in a society of silos: where the crops in our fields and the food on our plates are completely disconnected.


In 2008 the Scottish Government developed our first national food policy, emanating from ‘Choosing the Right Ingredients’ came ‘A Recipe for Success’ (2009). It was ground-breaking in trying to develop a ‘cross-cutting’ policy and putting affordability and local sustainable food at the heart of plans for changing the way we grow and eat our food. It promised a ‘holistic approach’ when awarding food and catering contracts, the adoption of sustainable food procurement as a corporate objective for all public sector organisations, the extension of free school lunches, increase in the uptake of healthy start vouchers for pregnant women and children. It’s seen some notable success: there’s undoubtedly a revival of interest and pride in Scottish food, and sales in the food industry are up. At the heart of some of this success has been the Climate Challenge Fund that continues to support the Fife Diet’s work. But it’s not just us: “Our £27 million Climate Challenge Fund has helped over 250 communities reduce their emissions, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2. That’s the equivalent of taking 225,000 cars off Scotland’s roads. Over half these projects have focused partly or wholly on food sustainability, representing £9 million in funding.” But the world has changed a lot in four years. Our economy has faltered. There is a fundamental revaluation of the values that have guided our economy for so long. Do we really want export growth

to be the main measurement we use to chart ‘success’ in food? If we look at nutrition or other health indicators we’re flat-lining. We need to be bolder and take some fresh-thinking. Under Labour, the plan to ban smoking in public places has been a huge success with a reported 15% drop in childhood asthma rates after three years. Under the SNP the plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol offer another huge step in tackling Scotland’s problem relationship with drinking. We need some of the same radicalism and foresight to tackle some of the other huge issues we have around food and environment. This could start with a moratorium on supermarket expansion, and a focus on ensuring a healthy food system and a healthy society through a whole host of initiatives, including those outlined in the manifesto below. The way we grow, distribute and consume our food creates 31% of our greenhouse gas emissionsi. Yet our food policy has no real plans to start radically shifting this impact and is entirely disconnected to our ambitious and world-leading climate change targets. The purpose of the manifesto is to try and help build a food culture in which communities can begin to be part of a restorative practice for a better food system. We propose ‘food sovereignty replacing ‘food security’ as the guiding principle of our policy, and explore the opportunities for collaborative gains between the agendas of community food and health, affordability and sustainability.


These ideas have been formed out of five years working to explore a more sustainable food practice. We recently held a series of discussion groups in Stirling and would like to thank the following for their input:

Robin Gourlay, Professor Annie Anderson (Professor of Public Health Nutrition), Sascha Grierson, Bill Gray (Community Food & Health Scotland), Peter Brown (SFQC Director and SFQC’s Project Manager for The Larder), Donald Reid, Pat Abel (Nourish), Laura Stewart (Soil Association) and Kate Campbell (Eco Schools).

We would also like to thank:

Clem Sandison, Joanna Blythman, Jo Hunt, Antonia Ineson, Eva Schonveld, Justin Kenrick, Colin Lindsay, Wendy Gudmundsson, Patrick Mulvany, Andy Wightman and Phil Hanlon for their support and ideas.

Mike Small & Teresa Martinez


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no child to leave school without knowing how to make a pot of soup


opportunity from the Enabling Communities legislation & the Land Fund


a joint national environmental & health campaign through schools, blogs & GPs / health centres / cafes exploring what a Scottish 5 a day would look like.


a small tax on the most unhealthy fizzy drinks as has been applied successfully in France


develop specific Food Emissions targets. see also Waste & Composting – see the Zero Waste Plan for Scotland


focusing instead on CSA, urban agriculture and food co-ops


encourage and enable development of differing scales of mills and abattoirs


a Terre Madre for Scotland – exploring the vision of food sovereignty


to draw together the strands of food policy, make sure it works and drive it forward. Also to develop strategies for international issues.


build on East Ayrshire model, making sustainable public procurement to key corporate objective for LS’s, schools and hospitals.


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hypothecated tax going back in to community food initiatives


building on the work already being led by SOAS

NEW FOOD INDICATORS what indicators other than export-growth should we be using to chart ‘success’ in food policy? How many new farmers we attract into the sector? Vitamin intake, soil quality, expansion of organics, food mile reduction, resilience in local economies?


building on work being led by Nourish at Elmwood College


part of the curriculum for excellence


a chance for gap-year, NEET and young people to get work experience


we should maintain and champion Scotland’s GM-free status


celebrate and foster our fishing heritage – research project and publication to celebrate our seafood culture.

SCOTTISH ORCHARD / FRUIT large-scale co-ordinated re-planting and boost of plant diversity


connecting people with the potential of a food economy (social enterprise in food, sustainable catering and cafes)


SOUP TEST Frequently policy-makers struggle to find ways to achieve that holy-grail: ‘ joined-up thinking’. How to make the competing demands of society, economy & culture link in a meaningful way?


The Soup Test is a very simple idea: no young person should leave school without knowing how to make a pot of soup for their friends. The idea is about life-skills but also brings to the table a notion of a rites of passage. New research shows that the majority of 18-25 year olds in the UK (57%) are leaving home without the ability to cook even a simple recipe such as Spaghetti Bolognese.1

WHAT IS THE SOUP TEST? The Soup Test is a single point that has multiple advantages: sociability & life-skills, affordability, seasonality & locality as well as the obvious benefits of eating fresh unprocessed vegetables in a healthy soup. Making your own soup allows people to season their own food without having to eat the often overly-salted tinned soup. Soup can be a nourishing meal which can play an important role in combating Scotland’s obesity problems.2 All the evidence suggests that once an individual has mastered one or two recipes they are learning some basic skills of food preparation that opens the door to a host of new learning and the potential of a lifetime being able to look after yourself (and others). The Soup Test fits into the Curriculum for Excellence and the great work of Eco Schools Scotland’s Food and the Environment topic.3 This could be explored in a non-proscriptive way, with many routes to the same outcome. We propose that pupils learn four seasonal soups across primary seven and then choose one of their own to prepare for their classmates and friends.

1. 2. See COSLA Obesity Strategy: 3.

Where there are school grounds as pioneered by Eco Schools Scotland, and where this is possible students could even plant and grow ingredients at the beginning of the season and then harvest them at the end of the summer term. Some schools have used the ‘going up’ ceremony as celebration and thanks and invited P7 students to cook for the dinner ladies, teaching staff and others. The social capital gained here is obvious and the potential to combine soups into a one-off catering thank you is clear. The Soup Test has the potential to allow schools and local authorities to discover and explore more about their own Scottish food heritage and it’s regional variation. Scotch Broth might be appropriate in one area with plenty of mutton, Cullen Skink in another near the sea, Cock a Leekie in another, and so on. The economics of Leek and Potato Soup might not seem at first to be a standard topic on any curriculum, but the idea opens up a huge possibility for learning through tasting and sharing. The Soup Test is not intended as an exam but an experience.


RIGHT TO GROW ith increasing numbers of individuals and communities keen to become involved in growing their own food, access to land is becoming a key issue in any expansion of community food production. Many individuals and groups are experiencing difficulty in obtaining land for growing despite there being suitable land available. Despite some useful initiatives, advice and support services, land availability remains a key constraint to the expansion of community food production with many groups failing to make any headway in securing land from private and public landowners.


For community food production to thrive, land access needs to be made far more straightforward. We believe that land for growing should form a central part of the Scottish Government’s policies on food and drink, land reform and community empowerment. There are now real opportunities to make land for food a central part of wider policies on land and we believe that the following proposals would assist in that ambition.

COMMUNITY RIGHT TO GROW A Community Right to Grow Act would promote food production by creating a legal presumption in favour of people growing food on land that is lying unused. This measure would provide valuable opportunities for food production, enhance the environment of derelict sites and revitalise abandoned land. A protocol for how this might operate should be developed and piloted with local authorities who have the power under Section 21 of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919 to make unused land available for food production (see below). Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 The community right to buy provisions which comprise Part 2 of this Act are too restrictive in their application and too complex to be readily used by communities. The Act only provides for a right to buy if and when land is sold and thus does nothing to help in making land available in the short term. The Act excludes all settlements of over 10,000 population and thus excludes over 70% of the population who live in urban areas where land availability is most acute. The Act should be amended to apply to urban areas and to enable community food groups to apply to register interests in land. Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill The Scottish government propose to launch a consultation on this Bill in 2012. This is likely to be a wide-ranging piece of legislation and it provides an opportunity to explore new measures to provide new rights over land. The Bill may also provide the opportunity to pursue a number of the other recommendations made here. If the proposed legislation is to achieve real empowerment of communities then community food should form an important part of the powers contained in it. Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919 This important legislation was used to create smallholdings and allotments across Scotland. It’s provisions remain part of Scottish law but have seldom been used in recent decades. In particular, the Act provides powers for Scottish Ministers to acquire land for the creation of small-holdings. There is an ever growing number of people who aspire to own 100 acres or so of land for individual small-holdings and community gardens. The powers exist in this Act to enable this to happen. The Scottish Parliament should review and amend the Act to make it fit for purpose. This should include extending the provisions of Section 21 to private land. Scottish Ministers should indicate their willingness to use the powers the Act confers on them.

Allotments The legislation governing allotments consists of the Allotments (Scotland) Acts of 1892, 1922 and 1950 and the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919. Many of these provisions are no longer fit for purpose and a wide ranging review of the legislation is urgently needed to enable the rapid expansion of allotments in Scotland’s towns and cities. Such a review should also incorporate a radical review of the purpose of allotments. In Germany, for example, allotments include huts where families can spend holidays.1 Likewise in countries such as Norway and Denmark, hutting provides an affordable means of recreation for urban families and are often associated with intensive food production. Scottish Rural Development Programme The financial support available through the SRDP has been monopolised by farmers and landowners with one respected agricultural commentator calculating that between £50 million and £100 million is being paid out every year to farmers who are doing no farming.2 With the ongoing review of CAP, now is an ideal time to review how future agricultural support funding can be used to support community food production. A sum of 10% of the funds currently being given to non-active farmers (£5-10 million) should be ring-fenced for community food growing in the forthcoming agricultural support package. Scottish Ministers Scottish Ministers own 1,890,500 acres of land in Scotland, 87% of which is managed by the Forestry Commission (FC). In January 2012, the FC launched a “Starter Farms for New Entrants” scheme designed to provide tenanted holdings for new entrants to agriculture.3 This scheme demonstrates a willingness by Scottish Ministers to enter the land market and there is no reason why they should not also develop a scheme for community gardening along similar lines using the powers contained in the Forestry Acts and the legislation outlined previously.

A flourishing community food movement needs land to grow. There is no shortage of land as such. Many thousands of hectares are lying unused or under-used which could be put to beneficial and profitable use for food production by local people. A range of legal provisions exist which, if suitable amended and implemented could liberate this land and provide the basis for the food revolution that Scotland is ready for.

1. 2. Andrew Arbuckle, Something-for-nothing culture has to be brought to an end. Scotsman, 12 March 2011.


3 A SEASONAL FIVE A DAY he notion of ‘5 a day’ is now well understood across most of Scottish society, though the numbers of us acting on that knowledge is far lower. In fact consumption of fruit and vegetables in Scotland increased from 3 portions to 3.5 in 2010. This is till 1.5 portions below the 5 a day target.1 We’re not eating enough fresh food, and overall consumption of healthy foods is significantly lower in the most deprived populations.2


“ Excess consumption of saturated fat, salt and sugar, and low consumption

of fruit and vegetables, are all risk factors associated with one or more of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and obesity . . .”

. . . said the latest Scottish health statistical review. So what if one way forward was to locate our health targets amongst the seasonal and local food the rest of the food policy is focusing on? The answer would be a seasonal 5 a day, where we would be eating rhubarb in the spring, raspberries and strawberries in the summer and apples, pears and brambles in the autumn and winter.

OUR PROPOSAL To counteract the daily bombardment which most consumers are faced with we could present an alternative message, which is: eat simple fresh unprocessed seasonal fruit and vegetables. This approach could connect our health agenda with our environmental agenda and could accelerate the move away from the notion of endless consumer choice as being a social good. Sometimes expensive tropical out of season fruit is held up as an aspirational choice. In reality it’s often a tasteless product of dubious nutritional content. We propose that plans to increase fruit production, food education and access to land to grow food, as well as re-skilling for better horticulture all can combine to increase reliance on out of season foods and make the shift to home-grown local produce.

As Stephen Jardine wrote earlier this year3 ahead of Scotland’s Food and Drink conference in Perth:

While we have world-class chefs & “produce that is the envy of the world, we

also have health statistics that are a national disgrace. Latest figures show 63% of Scots are overweight or obese, and that figure rises every year. Fewer than a quarter get the five-a-day fruit and vegetables considered essential for a balanced diet.

THE 2008 WHO REPORT ‘PLACED CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH FIRMLY ON THE AGENDA OF THE HEALTH SECTOR, EMPHASISING THAT A CROSS SECTOR RESPONSE WAS VITAL.’ THIS IDEAS SPEAK TO THREE KEY THEMES OF THE NATIONAL FOOD AND DRINK POLICY: Supporting consumers and the food ad drink industry to make healthier and more environmentally sustainable choices Celebrating and enhancing Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink Access and affordability in relation to food

Open air markets with fresh produce and competitive pricing, found in most other countries are virtually non-existent. In Scotland, the 'climate' is often said to deter farmers and gardeners from growing fruit. Yet, oddly Scotland remains the EEC highest exporter of soft fruit.4

WE PROPOSE: A national campaign led by community food groups,

chefs, cafe owners and health centres to promote the idea of a seasonal 5 a day A GIY network to enable home grown fruit trees and the development of a national orchard similar to Ireland’s

1. www.

see: Chart 3.7 Food/Nutrient changes in relation to the Scottish Dietary Targets 2007-2009

2. Lang, Dowler & Hunter, 2006 3. www. 4. www.




The fact that Scotland has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that links consumption of SSBs to obesity, cardiovascular diseases & other ailments like cancer.


The income raised from the tax could be earmarked to health promotion programmes with a focus on children & lower income families.


Several countries around the world are applying similar political measures with success by taxing sodas & fat foods.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT PICTURE? There is a growing evidence of research that links the consumption of SSBs with obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and also with cancer.1 An increase in one serving per day of SSBs is associated with a 0.45kg greater 4 year weight gain and also increases the risk of Coronary Heart Disease by 19%. 2 Meals supplemented with SSBs lead to lower satiety, higher energy intake and weight gain. The innocuous name of the ingredient “caramel colouring”, responsible of the brown colour of colas, is a known animal carcinogen present in Coca-cola, Pepsi-cola and their diet versions.3 According to data provided by OECD and the Scottish Health Survey 2010, Scotland has the third greatest obesity rate of the 17 countries considered, only surpass by US and Mexico, and is the fattest in the whole Europe. Between 2003 and 2010 the percentage of obese men and women rose from 22% to 27% and 26% to 29% respectively. In 2010 13% of Scottish girls, and 16% of boys were obese. A recent report looking at summer advertising campaigns for soft drinks have found that many of the marketing messages are misleading, and that they are encouraging parents and children to consume drinks that contradict public health advice.4 If no additional prevention measures are in place the conservative trend is that by 2030 41% of the Scottish population will be obese for age group 16-64. The direct and indirect cost of overweight and obesity to the NHS Scotland in 2030 could be as high as £3 billion.5 The data speaks by itself and a sense of urgency needs to be brought to the table. There is already some good work and pioneer initiatives to build on. For example, all regular and diet fizzy drinks are banned in Scottish schools. This is because the acidic flavourings in these drinks also contribute to tooth decay, besides the afore-mentioned obesity concerns.6 Scotland has already introduced a bill for minimum price of alcohol and in February

2012 the SNP led Scottish Government passed a public health levy on retailers who sell alcohol and tobacco. This is part of the SG push for greater preventative spending and could set a precedent for the introduction of the contentious but necessary food related taxes. Taxing unhealthy food and drink is becoming a popular political measure in various countries to tackle the obesity epidemic and associated health risks. Denmark has recently introduced a tax on food rich in saturated fats, including butter, potato chips, ground beef and pork. Hungary has started to tax food that has a high share of salt, sugar and caffeine. The mayor of New York City has proposed a ban that would prevent the use of government subsidised food stamps to purchase soda or sugary drinks. France has recently approved a tax on sugary drinks- one euro cent per can- that will boost the state’s coffers with 120 million Euros. The tax has been introduced as part of the government programme to fight obesity and as one of the measures of the wider austerity programme.7 Dr Richard Simpson, labour Shadow Public Health Minister, presented a motion in September 2011 applauding France’s plans for a soda tax and asking the SG to consider giving local authorities the power to introduce a similar tax. The income raised could be earmarked to improve school meals, build on the work of previous administrations to reduce sugary drinks in schools and support community-based nutritional improvement initiatives.8 The motion was well received but finally rejected. However, there is strong support from public health professionals and local food initiatives to bring it to the forefront of the public health debate together with a whole set of other comprehensive measures.

1. Malik, V.S and Hu, F. B. (2011). Sugar-sweetened beverages and health: where does the

4. Children’s Food Campaign. (2012). Soft Drinks, Hard Sell: How soft drink companies target

2. De Koning, L., Malik, V.S., Kellog, M.D., Rimm, E.B., Willet, W.c., Hu, F.B. (2012).

5. Scottish Government. (2010). Future Estimates. Preventing overweight and obesity in Scotland.

evidence stand? Am J Clin Nutr, 94, 1161-62.

Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men. Circulation online. American Heart Association.

3. Centre for Science in the Public Interest . (2012). Lab test find carcinogen in regular and diet Coke and Pepsi.

children and their parents. Download PDF

6. Scottish Government. (2008). Healthy Eating in Schools: A Guide to Implementing the

Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland).

7. FCRN (2012, January 16). French Soda tax comes into force. 8. The Scottish Parliament. (2011). Motion S4M-00892: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour.

5 ELEVATE FOOD TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA Scotland has world leading ambitious climate change targets1 and the our first ever national Food and Drink policy.2 But the two seem to operate in complete isolation. We know that the refrigeration chain constitutes about 15% of the C02 emissions from our food3 yet we celebrate every time a new out of town shopping development is announced or a new multiple opens a new superstore.

We know that GHG from our agricultural sector has been flatlining since 2007 – yet we have no coherent plan for reducing this (see Chart 5.3 Net GHG emissions from agriculture in Scotland, 2007-2009).4 We know that the way we produce, distribute and consume our food creates 31% of our annual C02e each year5, yet we have no co-ordinated plan for changing this.

THIS AMOUNTS TO AN EXTRAORDINARY ADMISSION OF FAILURE AND LACK OF AMBITION. WE PROPOSE THE INTRODUCTION OF: A specific annual food emissions reduction target The promotion of low carbon foods as a key goal, aim and indicator A coherent framework for reduction of GHG emissions from our primary agriculture sector

Development of carbon literacy around food so that individuals will know whether they are personally on or off target and the better to help collective collaborations

WE CAN LOOK TO OUR IMMEDIATE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURS FOR INSPIRATION. THE DANISH IDA CLIMATE PLAN 2050 OFFERS A BLUEPRINT FOR A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO LAND USE AND FOOD PRODUCTION. Scottish conditions and opportunities will be different. There will be no immediate consensus on what constitutes ‘low carbon food’. But what can be adapted is a plan that is ambitious and has immediate impact. A plan that also has short term, medium term and long term targets. This approach can only be possible if emissions reductions are given real priority and a sense of urgency. This approach can only be possible if there is a critical culture open to new ideas and ways of working and not dependent on a small but powerful lobby continuing practices in a closed-loop. Innovation in food production and distribution is essential, so some thought to creating conditions for risk-taking is essential. Regional-scale trials of new food systems and citywide experiments in new food structures are needed if we are to make the leap from very small-scale to society-wide transformative approaches. There are other models. The CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain Report suggested: “In the zerocarbonbritain2030 scenario abundant food for the population is produced but livestock products are reduced to 20-30% of their present quantity. Cow and sheep stocks in particular are much reduced. The levels of egg, poultry and pig-meat production are only a little lower than today because they use little land and we can feed them on high-yielding crop products and food wastes. Plant protein is greatly increased; at the moment the ratio of meat to plant protein is about 55:45, and in the scenario it is to 34:66. This proportion of livestock products matches recommendations for optimum dietary health. Essentially the livestock sector switches from quantity to quality production.” 6 Again, particular Scottish conditions will make a difference. Our proportion of rough grazing is far higher than other parts of the UK. But this should not be allowed as a simple get-out to continue cattle-farming on the same scale and structure. Creating the conditions where we are open to new ways of working will not be easy in a sector that is enthralled to business forces or the innate conservatism of many farming communities operating on a tight margin. For many the climate change agenda is not one they have ever been asked to take seriously, or for whom this will have been conceived of as a marketing opportunity, something you can pay lip service to, or something for which the only appropriate response is mitigation and adaptation. A strong clear sense of leadership and purpose will be required to make these changes possible and a mandate from as wide a sector of society as possible is required.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


Reduce nitrogen surplus in agriculture, introduce better feed practice with less impact on the climate, a doubling of the organic agricultural area and reduction of 1.6 million tonnes C02 equivalent.


A quadrupling of organic agricultural area, a reduction of a further 5 million tonnes C02 equivalent from agriculture and food production.


Increase in biomass production on land to around 200PJ and of marine biomass to around 100 PJ, reduction of a further 9.5 million tonnes C02 equivalent, and that the impact of climate from diet will be 0.9 tonnes C02 equivalent per Dane per year for Danish and imported foods.

6 MORATORIUM ON SUPERMARKET EXPANSION IN BRITAIN A NEW TESCO, MORRISONS, SAINSBURYS OR ASDA OPENS EVERY OTHER DAY. WE PROPOSE A MORATORIUM ON SUPERMARKET EXPANSION IN SCOTLAND BASED ON: We need to ensure that a comprehensive environmental and socio-economic impact assessment is in place before giving the green light to any further food retail development owned by the major food retailers (this includes high street convenience stores and hypermarkets). Local competition and retail diversity are guaranteed by the competition and local authorities before any further expansion. The belief is that this proposal will contribute to one of the main objectives of Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy of creating a more secure and resilient food system, based on the diversity of our food supply.

Supermarkets have been around for fifty years and they are now well established in our food consciousness. Their expansion in the post war area was aided by concerns about the ability of the UK to feed itself, together with market liberalization policies, the relaxation of regulations, and the Green Revolution in farming from which the globalisation of the food system sprang and the transition from traditional to intensive agriculture was made.

Every day we are reminded that supermarkets are the panacea to revitalise the harsh economic reality of impoverished communities in the UK. Tesco has recently announced the creation of 20,000 new jobs over the next two years by improving customer services, opening new stores and providing training.1 Supermarkets are also presented as the best option for communities to access cheap food. Food price is one of the driving purchasing factors for UK consumers and one of the main reasons for the success of supermarkets. Choice, affordability and job creation is their mantra and some sectors of the population would argue that supermarkets offer the majority of people what they need when they need it, which is the perfect solution to our fast paced lifestyles. So, why a moratorium on supermarket expansion?

MYTHS AND OPPORTUNITIES Supermarkets have created a powerful and paternalistic image as providers of cheap food and job opportunities, but this ignores the knowledge and potential within communities to generate vibrant and sustainable local food businesses. Alternative local food economies offer communities more control over how food is marketed and produced, allowing for a larger share of the food industry profits to remain in the local area, and not in the hands of a few corporations. In Fife the annual supermarket turnover in 2009 was £500.5 million (approximately 79.5% of retail spending on food in Fife), while the local food market via farmers markets and farm shops accounts for only 0.52% of the total sales, and estimates for the UK are similar.2 Fair competition and alternative market routes are needed to develop the local food system. However, the Local Food Movement in Scotland is flourishing with community food initiatives of all sorts expanding throughout rural and urban areas. Many of these are funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF). According to a recent survey the number of Scottish people trying to buy local food is increasing and 54% and 49% of the respondents said that the main reason for buying local food was to support local producers and local retailers respectively. 40% stated that buying local food helps to keep jobs in the area.3 This is also something called the local multiplier effect, a measure of how money is re-spent locally instead of shifting profits to shareholders, insurance companies or management. The New Economic Foundation compared the multiplier effects of buying fruits and vegetables from an organic box scheme vs. a supermarket in an area of Cornwall. The results showed that every £10 spent in the veg box scheme generated £25 for the local economy, as opposed to £14 generated by buying in the supermarket.4 The Competition Commission has discussed the effect of supermarkets on local jobs and research has shown that every time a new supermarket opens an average of 276 local jobs are lost in the mid- to long-term.5 Recently, we have seen how the controversial Workfare programme of the UK coalition government has re-opened the debate on low paid, part time jobs and the poor quality of jobs offered by the big retailers. Competition policy is currently a matter reserved to Westminster. A monopoly in UK legislation is any one business group that controls more than 30% of a product market. This is exactly in line with the market share of Tesco, who are the largest retailer in the UK.

1. Proactive Investors. (2012, March 5). Tesco to create 20,000 jobs. 2. Ritchie, P., Martínez, M.T. (2010). Our Mutual Food. One Planet Food.

3. TNS-brmb Scottish opinion Survey, October 2010. Food and Drink in Scotland: Key Facts 2012. 4. Ward, B., Lewis, J. (2002). Plugging the Leaks: Making the most of every pound that enters your local economy. London: New Economics Foundation.

The issue in Scotland is not only to reduce the monopoly threshold and control it in Edinburgh, but also to apply it through local authority development planning – so that no one business could control 10% of a market within a local authority area. Inverness, for instance, has 3 Tescos and one more under construction: they take 51% of all retail spend in the city. But the planners are not allowed to consider this as a relevant planning matter when considering their plans for a 5th store. Using local market penetration as a planning tool would benefit food retail diversity and restrict supermarket size and numbers effectively. Supermarkets are diversifying in order to access consumer trends, from out of town hypermarkets offering a wide range of non-food retail services to convenience stores in the high street. The Office of Fair Trading, and various campaigning groups have been warning about the domination of the grocery market by supermarkets, which make competition at the local level very difficult and has a terrible effect in town centres. The National Farmers’ Union championed the 2009 Competition Commission’s proposal for a supermarket watchdog or Ombudsman that will protect producers and consumers from being ripped-off. The proposal was widely welcome among all the political parties, but its real power has been watered down and it seems unlikely that the now called Groceries Code Adjudicator will be in place before 2013. Consumer demand for greener products has increased and therefore supermarkets have been improving their sustainability credentials. However, there are structural problems in supermarkets that prevent them from being greener, including strict specifications on suppliers, which results in food waste and increased pesticide use and food miles from vast food imports, packaging and refrigeration, etc.6 There is growing evidence that eating local, fresh, and seasonal food considerably reduces carbon emissions, and these products are mainly sourced by farm shops, farmers markets and CSA schemes. The reality is that we don’t know the long-term environmental and socio-economic impacts of supermarket expansion, and planning legislation should consider these aspects before granting permission to new supermarket developments wanting to “get local”. It remains to be seen whether the new neighbourhood development plans introduced by the 2011 Localism Act will address these concerns. What we know is that a moratorium on supermarket expansion will create breathing space for sustainable and local food initiatives to develop and it will establish new connections between consumers and producers. This will contribute to creating a more secure and resilient food system, which communities will have better control of, in addition to a greater understanding of how food gets from farm to plate.

5. Corporate Watch., Michaels, L. (2004). What’s wrong with supermarkets. Oxford: Corporate Watch.

6. Friends of the Earth. (2005). Briefing. Checking out the environment: Environmental impacts of supermarkets. London: Friends of the Earth. Download PDF www.



The development of differing scales of food infrastructure (abbatoirs, mills, storage warehouses, distribution centres) contributes to more resilient local and regional food systems; making them less dependant of climate events, external and volatile market behaviour and corporate domination of the food chain.


It will create more connections between producers and consumers and a greater choice of routes to market for the farmers (farm shops, farmers markets, direct sales). It will also encourage re-skilling and the development of locallyowned enterprises such as Dalbeattie abbatoir, recently funded by a Scottish Government Grant and run by a local co-operative.

Corporate farming and its buying power controls most of the food chain, but surprisingly the majority of the food that we eat is is grown, collected and harvested by more than a billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fisherfolks. Reliance on corporate farming and global trade is risky, and it would not ensure the resilience of the food system. Reliance on small scale agriculture puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations; as proposed in the Food Sovereignty Framework.1


The food that we eat affects our health, the environment and the communities where food is produced. It seems irresponsible that the way we produce, process and suply our food is in the hands of a few corporations.

Our current food system is characterised by centralisation and giantism. Six processors (Arla/Express, Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman, Glanbia, Associated Co-operative Creameries and Nestle) control 93% of UK dairy processing and six supermarkets control 65% of liquid milk sales. All these companies use centralized systems of production and distribution. Corporations such as Danone either build large 1000 cows farms or encourage co- operatives to build their numbers and the size of the farms that supply them. In Scotland, the number of small dairyfarms are falling every year: from 2,000 in 1999 to 1,300 now. Small dairies only survive if they can organise their own bottling and supply customers directly, or if they can add value on farm through cheese or ice cream.

Just two companies Rank Hovis (part of Tomkins PLC) and Archer Daniels Midland Milling account for more than 50% of bread flour milled in the UK; the third largest cereal producer in the EU after France and Germany. In 2005 12% of the UK cereal area was grown in Scotland. The main cereal crop in Scotland is barley of which 34% goes into malting and 54% for animal feed. Milling wheat grown in Scotland is mainly used for biscuit making and also in distilling and for animal feed. It is therefore unlikely that very much of the cereal grown is milled locally for food consumption and although there is available technology for milling cereals on a farm scale but centralised plants are the norm. While large plant bakeries supply over 90% of the UK market, craft bakers supply over 90% of bread in Italy. Livestock contributed 53% of Scotland’s agricultural output (worth £1.916 billion) in 2006. Two-thirds of meat processed in Scotland is sold to the rest of the UK. In value, the cattle sector (beef and dairy) is the most important. 9 key abattoirs (each with an annual throughput of over 25,000 animals) account for about 85% of the

total cattle slaughtered in Scotland. Just under 1 million Scottish sheep were slaughtered in England and Wales between July 2006 and June 2007. 55% of lambs produced in Scotland are slaughtered elsewhere in the UK. The majority of prime pigs are slaughtered within Scotland but the industry is heavily reliant on a single slaughterhouse. 2 Successfully run local abattoirs; such as the privately owned in the island of Barra, the community owned in Mull and the one in Dalbeattie owned by a co-operative are good news for the decentralisation of food infrastructure. Shorter supply chains give the farmer a greater choice for marketing their produce, connect directly with local consumers and add value to their own livestock through branding. Additionally animal welfare and bio-security is also improved. As suggested by the Leadership Forum, who helped to design Scotland National Food and Drink Policy: “ The Scottish Government should continue its investment in the food production and processing industries, particularly where this supports resilience in fragile supply chains�. 3

FACED WITH THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE, FOOD SECURITY, & ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION; WE SHOULD BE CLEAR & COHERENT ABOUT THE MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT WE WANT FOR OUR FOOD SYSTEM IN SCOTLAND: Disconnection model: highly centralised and dominated by large processing, trading and retail companies and highly dependant on global trade and markets. This model is characterised by the increasing disconnection between how food is produced and consumed, and disconnected of local ecosystems and regional societies. Connection model: more autonomous and less commodified. It is based on the ecological capital of farming, the reproduction of short and decentralised supply chains and on building links between consumers and producers. 4

1. Food Sovereignty Framework: Concept and Historical Context.

3. Leadership Forum Report: Development of the National Food and Drink Policy.

2. Some of these statistics have been extracted from:

4. More information: Van der Ploeg, J.D. (2008). The new Peasantries: Struggles for autonomy

Download PDF


Download PDF

and sustainability in an era of empire and globalisation. London: Earthscan.


BLASDA BLASDA IS GAELIC FOR TASTE, OR FLAVOUR. IN 2011 FIFE DIET TESTED OUT AN IDEA TO HOLD ‘BLASDA: SCOTLAND’S LOCAL FOOD FEAST’ AS A CELEBRATION OF FOOD SOVEREIGNTY. The idea was simple, let’s find out what each region ‘tastes like’. Let’s create an opportunity for regional food celebrations and a ‘local food feast’ in multiple locations at the same time. We invited communities as diverse as Uist and Possil, Kirkcaldy and Moffat, to participate. 12 core communities were invited to join and each of these were featured in a pamphlet we created for distribution on the day. Each of these communities blogged about their idea, the preparation and then the event itself. A website, twitter and Flickr stream was created. What happened was a fantastic range of activities, from pot luck suppers to full-scale ceilidhs and ‘whole-village-lunches’. Events took place in Aviemore, Perthshire, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and across the Borders. MoffatCan held the ‘Edge on Veg’ celebration followed by a ceilidh, Kilfinnan Community Forest, Transition Black Isle, Aberdeen Students Association, Incredibly Edible Dunbar, Tweedgreen, Camuscross (Skye) and East Kilbride Development Trust all took part. One of the largest was In Uist where hundreds turned out. Organisers sustainable Uist reported: “Over 600 visitors attended to enjoy the tasting tables, see cheese being made, have a fish filleting lesson, see hand made chocolates being made and cakes being decorated. There were cooking demonstrations by local chefs and the gathered crowds enjoyed

sampling the finished dishes and taking home the recipes. Such was the success of the first day that some of the sellers were short of stock by Sunday!” The project was delighted by the response with dozens of communities becoming involved and an estimated 6,600 people taking part. The design ideas, and social media meant that the message of celebrating local food and the local food movement received the widest audience possible. The festival is to be repeated this year in a collaboration with NVA’s Hidden Gardens that will bring a culture kitchen recipe tour visit each of the communities as well as being linked-to by the Fife Diet’s own Seed Truck. Hugh and Sascha Grierson from Grierson Organics said:

that’s what it feels like – we are “partForof usa burgeoning community of people,

businesses and community groups who understand that we need a range of solutions for our food needs.

A CULTURAL EXPRESSION Blasda is just a cultural expression of the wider food sovereignty movement. The term was coined by La Via Campesina, an international peasant organisation, and is defined as ‘the right of peoples to healthy, culturally appropriate, food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and the right to define their own food and agricultural systems.’ This is all about changing public policies governing our food and agricultural systems. At the recent Crofters Gathering in Strathpeffer ('Liberate Diversity') there was a renewed commitment to the Nyeleni declaration,1 a pan-Europe commitment to changing and reclaiming the food system: “Our struggle includes changing public policies and governance structures that rule our food systems - from the local to the national, European and global levels and to delegitimise corporate power. Public policies must be coherent, complementary and promote and protect food systems and food cultures. They must: be based on the right to food; eradicate hunger and poverty; ensure the fulfilment of basic human needs; and contribute to Climate Justice in Europe and globally. We need legal frameworks that: guarantee stable and fair prices for food producers; promote environmentally-friendly agriculture; internalise external costs into food prices; and implement land reform. These policies

1. Nyeleni Europe 2011: European Forum for Food Sovereignty 22 August 2011

would result in more farmers in Europe. Public policies must be designed with the help of publicly accountable research to achieve the objectives outlined above. They must ensure that speculation on food is banned and no harm is done to existing local or regional food systems and food cultures either by dumping or by landgrabbing in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, or the Global South. We work towards new agriculture, food, seed, energy and trade policies for Food Sovereignty in Europe which are internationally sound. In particular these must include: a different Common Agriculture and Food Policy; the removal of the EU Biofuels Directive; and global governance of international agricultural trade located in the FAO and not the WTO. We call upon the people and social movements in Europe to engage, together with us, in all our struggles to take control of our food systems and Build the Movement for Food Sovereignty in Europe NOW!” We see the need to reconnect, and the pivotal role culture can play in telling the story of our food, where it comes from and what our traditions are. Blasda is a small scale festival but our proposal is that it becomes an annual event and in doing so lodges in the pubic consciousness the idea that communities can and should have a pubic role in celebrating food and in shaping food policy.

9 A FOOD LEADERSHIP TEAM WE PROPOSE A FOOD LEADERSHIP TEAM BASED ON: The need to create an independent and cross-sectoral critical voice to monitor the implementation of Scotland Food and Drink Policy and to contribute to its development. Continuing the previous consultation and dialogue process started by the Scottish Government and Leadership Forum during the design of the policy, and ensuring there is a fair representation and participation of all the interested sectors, including those which are less vocal. Redressing the imbalance between power and governance by bringing the Food Leadership Team’s resolutions to a parliamentary debate.

Most of the ailments of the global food system stem from a disproportionate imbalance between power and governance. Food and agricultural trade is controlled by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which promotes an export-led model of agriculture and the deregulation of the food market. This has favoured big agribusiness companies and retailers, which control most of the production and retail market, leaving smallscale farmers, consumers and some states with little bargaining power and little control over the means of production and the supply chain. In short the result is an undemocratic food system, which is not only unable to provide food security for all but also contributes to increasing poverty in both developed and developing countries. From Scotland, we might not be able to control all these variables but we have the opportunity to change direction by ensuring that our food system is democratically controlled. In August 2009 the Scottish Government launched the National Food and Drink Policy: Recipe for Success. This has been a landmark in Scottish policy, since it recognises for the first time the importance of the food system as a whole, and not as a mere subsidiary issue of our economy and health. The policy was developed with the help of the Leadership Forum, a group of high-profile individuals and experts to make recommendations on issues related to health, environment, affordability and the economy.

The Scottish Government consulted the public in developing Recipe for Success and the top three topics were diet and nutrition (68%), local food and local economies (49%) and health promotion (44%).1 However, as it laid out, the National Food and Drink Policy favours ‘export growth’ over local food economies and health promotion. The Scottish Government wants to see the contribution of food and drink to the national economy raised to £10 billion by 2017 but economic drive alone will not assure sustainable food consumption and production for Scotland. The basis for the target figure for food industry growth is not clear, nor is the impact of achieving this target on domestic production, diet, land use and greenhouse gas emissions. There is no continuing public forum for discussing implementation or reporting progress and the Parliament’s involvement in food policy ha so far been very limited. However, the Scottish Government recognises the need for Food Advocacy and has convened a group of stakeholders to discuss how this should be taken forward. From the discussions, the most desirable option seemed to be to create a Memorandum of Understanding or Charter for Food Advocacy between a looser group of NGOs, academics and others who ascribe to coordinated messages and actions. It still has to be decided whether this should be undertaken by the Government itself or by an existing organisation on the Government’s behalf.

Governments and political will can be transient depending on the economic and social context. The current economic recession and the reassessment of values that have guided our economy for so long, necessitate the creation of a robust and critical Food Leadership Team (FLT) or similar advocacy group to ensure that the gains of the current food policy are not lost and to contribute to an evolving food policy.


1. Ritchie, P. (2010). Making Scottish food policy: a cross-cutting approach. Food Ethics, 5(2), 28-29.

The FLT should be cross-sectoral, with a fair representation of all the interest groups and stakeholders: from private business to campaigning NGOs, food poverty groups, school, hospitals, community organisations, academics, experts, farmers, thinkers, youth groups, women’s organisations, public officials and wider networks. The FLT could act both as a monitoring body of the National Food and Drink policy and as a hub of joined-up thinking incorporating creative proposals, developing new indicators and mobilising action. The FLT would create meaningful connections within disparate food interests in Scotland, but would also link with movements and groups internationally, making sure the way we consume and produce food in Scotland has the least possible social and environmental impacts in other countries, and working together towards a more sustainable and democratic food system worldwide. In order to avoid becoming a “talking shop”, and to redress the imbalance between power and governance that characterises the global food system, the proposals approved by the FLT should have leverage in the Parliament. The FLT could provide a credible and recognisable arena to apply pressure as a focused critical mass, a space where Manifestos like this one could be debated: food democracy at its best.



Local authorities and public institutions have the power to show by example, influencing consumers and new generations to become part of a healthier and more sustainable food culture. Public institutions’ buying power can contribute to rebuilding local infrastructure and stable local food markets dismantled by the globalisation of the food system.


Connecting institutions to local farms can have significant economic and social benefits. There is already evidence of best practice on creative food procurement in Scotland to build on, as shown by East Ayrshire Council, supported by the Scottish Executive “Hungry for Success” initiative.


This proposal is in keeping with the 2009 Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan and the recommendations of the Future Delivery of Public Service Commission, which stress the need to build a common public service ethos and joined-up integrated services to develop local capacity.

With greater than ever competition on food prices, increased consumption of energy dense processed food and little awareness of how food gets from farm to plate, the hidden environmental and social cost of the conventional food chain escapes the public eye. Scotland is still very reliant on food imports. For example, in 2010 the value of imports of fruits and vegetables was £142 million and imports of animal feed, such as soy from monoculture plantations in Latin America accounted for £406 million (60% more than in 2007).1 The negative social and environmental impacts of soy plantations have been widely reported, and soy could gradually be replaced by home-grown protein.2

role of the farmer as a service provider and establish meaningful connections between producers and consumers. Some farms and food producers will need support and training and work cooperatively to be able to provide food at a competitive price which is accredited for food safety, ensure there is sufficient capacity to supply and at a consistent quality, and have the potential to manage complex distribution arrangements. With the right support through the contract process this measure could provide a farming business with a predictable income stream, and make use of seasonal surpluses.4 It could also encourage farmers to shift to more sustainable farming practices.

Public sector expenditure on food and drink procurement in Scotland is £129.3 million. Local authorities spend 48% on Scottish produce and frozen food accounts for a third of spending by local authorities.3 This buying power allows public procurement services to play an important role in promoting the environmental benefits of shorter supply chains and a sustainable local food economy. 80% of retail spending on food goes to the main supermarkets. If just 10% of public procurement food expenditure went to local farms this would also boost local food distribution networks and local processing business. It would also enhance the

There are already successful examples of sustainable food procurement in Scotland and internationally, where farmers and institutions are partners. East Ayrshire Council followed the Soil Association’s Food for Life’ guidelines (at least 75% of food ingredients must be unprocessed, 50% locally sourced, and 30% organic). The increase in cost was marginal, and for every additional pound spent by the council there was a social return on investment of £6. This proves that moving away from low-cost catering culture can pay off for councils.

FARM TO INSTITUTION APPROACH TO PUBLIC PROCUREMENT Rome, Italy Rome has probably the most successful school meals programme in the world; when meals are not fully organic, they are at least locally sourced or fairly traded. Each meal cost about one pound more than in Scotland but meals are also highly subsidised. In Scotland we could use revenues raised from the Soda Tax proposed in this manifesto to subsidise healthy school meals. Rome’s ‘All for Quality’ school meals programme supported a “big tent” definition of health, one that includes children’s social and nutritional health together with a clear philosophy of environmental stewardship.5 Oakland, California In Oakland, the first hospital farmers market was created in 2003 and by 2005 farmers markets were held by 25 hospitals in various states. The markets work as a subtle form of preventative medicine and show the hospitals’ leadership in building demand for healthy food and supporting local produce. They all have three guiding principles: the markets must provide certified organic food; the food should not need refrigeration; and the markets must serve as healthy complements to the existing in-hospital cafeteria food, and not as competitive alternatives.6

One of the main barriers named by local authorities for local food procurement is the EU Procurement Directive. However, regulations seem to have been lawfully overcome in other European countries with strong local food economies, such as Italy and France, and there is no reason why Scotland could not do the same. These countries may not specify ‘local’ in their tendering process but they buy fresh food, organic food, domestic varieties of fruits and vegetables, seasonal produce, they allow the use of lots and use third parties to manage meal provision, etc. This is an exciting time for a change in public food procurement in Scotland. We already have a Sustainable Procurement Action Plan, and a Bill will be put before the Scottish Parliament towards the end of 2012. The government has published the Catering for Change guidelines for buying food sustainably in the public sector. The guidelines make it clear that ‘value for money’ should not be about buying the cheapest possible but that a sustainable food procurement policy should seek to derive social, economic and environmental benefits.7 Local authorities are aware of these sustainable procurement guidelines; however “Supporting local and regional economies” is the most important criterion when local authorities are asked to rank sustainable food criteria in order of importance. However, this has to be moved from aspiration and rhetoric to more mainstream practice.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES, HOSPITALS AND OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCIES SHOULD ADHERE TO “SUSTAINABLE FOOD PROCUREMENT” AS A CORPORATE OBJECTIVE. THIS COULD BE ACHIEVED BY: Avoiding territorialism and following a joined-up approach to public procurement (the Scottish Government is developing a Health and Environmental Sustainability Framework for joined-up decision-making) Working in partnership with other parties such as the third sector and private business Developing guidelines for public food including health, social and sustainability criteria Funding joined-up decision-making and action in order to be successful.

1. The Scottish Government. (2012). Food and Drink in Scotland: Key Facts 2012. 2. Food&waterwatch. (2011). The Perils of the Global Soy Trade: Economic, Environmental and Social impacts. Download PDF

3. The Scottish Government. (2009). Public Sector Food procurement in Scotland: An overview of current evidence.

4. Ritchie, P., Martínez, M.T. (2010). Our Mutual Food. One Planet Food. Download PDF

5. Liquori, T. (2011). Briefing paper. Rome, Italy: A model in public food procurement: What can the United Sates learn? Liquori and Associates.

6. Project for Public Spaces. Kaiser Farmers Market. 7. The Scottish Government. (2011). Catering for change: Buying food sustainably in the public sector. Download PDF

Fife Diet Food Manifesto  
Fife Diet Food Manifesto  

The way we produce, distribute and consume food has to change. Here's 20 ways how.