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Armed Forces (Food Supplies)

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where beef is processed into burgers for consumption by the armed forces. [117669]

The beefburgers currently supplied to the armed forces are processed in Normandy, France.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether beef is reared and produced in the Republic of Ireland for consumption for the armed forces. [117670]

A small proportion of the beef purchased for the armed forces is sourced in the Republic of Ireland for processing into beefburgers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to increase the amount of beef produced in the UK for UK armed forces consumption. [117671]

While increasing beef production in the United Kingdom is not the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Defence, we are keen to purchase UK products for the armed forces whenever they are competitive. Currently, 55 per cent. of the armed forces' total annual consumption of beef is British. It would be contrary to Article 30 of the EU Treaty of Rome to unfairly favour British product.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where (a) lamb, (b) pork, (c) poultry and (d) milk for consumption by the armed forces is reared, processed and produced. [117672]

Food for the armed forces is sourced from many countries throughout the world, but United Kingdom products are always sourced if they are competitive, they meet the relevant minimum specifications and the supply chain can be guaranteed. Of the meat purchased, lamb is sourced from New Zealand, Uruguay, Australia and the UK. Pork and bacon is all sourced from the UK. Chicken is sourced from France, Brazil and the UK.Fresh milk is sourced from the UK for consumption in UK and Germany for consumption in Germany. UHT milk or locally-procured fresh, is supplied to other overseas units.