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Catering Policy

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to encourage catering sections of each Department to source and serve food which is (a) produced in Britain, (b) organic and (c) Fair Trade. [111156]

Defra has published guidance for public sector bodies that covers issues such as removing obstacles to tendering by local and UK producers and the purchase of organic and fair trade produce. It can be seen on our web site at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/ sustain/procurement/index.htm. We are also taking a number of other steps to integrate sustainable development into the public procurement of food and catering services. These include seminars to raise awareness, bilateral meeting at Ministerial and senior management level (including with representatives of local government) and the production of case studies. The guidance takes account of the Government's policy of achieving value for money and its commitment under the EC rules to ensure that public procurement is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory.