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Local Food

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the FSA Report on Local Food; and when he expects to publish a response to it. [111756]

The report, Local Food—a snapshot of the sector, was produced by a cross-departmental working group on local food and published on 9 April.The groups aims were to consider the evidence relating to the impacts of local food initiatives and the wider issues relating to local food, so that Government policy in this area could be developed.The development of the food and health action plan will consider all aspects of nutrition policy, including strengthening links to related areas of food and farming policy, such as local food. The local food report should be a valuable resource for this work.The Department of Health is already exploring the potential contribution of the local food sector to health goals, for example through the five-a-day programme, including the National School Fruit Scheme. We are also exploring how National Health Service food purchasing policy can better support sustainable development objectives and increase opportunities for local and United Kingdom businesses.