Nourish Scotland Conference 2013 , Queen Margaret University, 3-4 September 2013

“Feeding the Five Million: What would it take for everyone in Scotland to eat well and sustainably? ”

This conference will be an active enquiry rather than a conventional conference. Nourish wants to use this conference to work in partnership with individuals and organisations from a variety of sectors (Food, Agriculture, the Environment, Community and Anti-Poverty Work, Health and Economics), to devise an ambitious yet achievable blueprint for Scotland’s food system.

Pete Ritchie, NOURISH SCOTLAND Executive Director, says:-“This is an exciting time for Scotland when many visions of the type of country that we want to live in are being formulated. For our part, Nourish is committed to coming up with of ways that Scotland can rise to the challenge of feeding all its citizens in a healthy, sustainable and fair way.

Scotland is a small, wealthy, well-governed country blessed with some productive soils and plenty of water, with skilled farmers and fishers, world-leading science and a strong social fabric. It is simply unacceptable (or should be) that we also see more and more people dependent on food banks for their basic needs and a population which dies on average four years younger than the European average, with huge inequalities across the country. Scotland’s food exports are strong – we export £12bn of food every year, while we only eat around £9bn worth ourselves. But our food system is failing in some major ways. This conference will help us change that and show how exactly we can move closer to a Scotland which feeds all of our people healthily, sustainably and fairly.

The conference will take the form of a two-day enquiry. Teams from different backgrounds will work together to explore these issues and produce a report which will subsequently be edited, published and presented to government and other bodies. Teams will have access to a variety of witnesses including people from all parts of the food system and academics from a variety of fields.

Key witnesses will include:

Katherine Trebeck, Policy and Advocacy Manager for Oxfam’s UK programme and author of the recent “ Our Economy:Towards a new prosperity“ report .

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink

Annie Anderson, Professor of Food Choice and Director of the Centre for Public Nutrition Research, University of Dundee

Geoff Tansey, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust “Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World”

On the evening of Tuesday 3rd September, there will be a panel discussion chaired by Lesley Riddoch on “Ending food poverty in Scotland”. This discussion will feature Rachelle Faroul, from Just Food in New York and Robin McAlpine, Director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and initiator of the Scottish Common Weal project.

This will be followed by a dinner prepared by the chef at QMU using local organic ingredients.

Submitted by Graham Burgess,Communications Manager, Nourish Scotland