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Food: Procurement

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has held with other Ministers on the sourcing of publicly procured food; and what proportion of such food was of British origin in 2006. (123634)

My right hon. friend the Secretary of State, together with ministerial colleagues at DfES and DOH spoke at the conference—Food and Farming: Reconnecting a New Generation, on 29 November. The conference promoted sustainable sourcing of food throughout the public sector under the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative; promoted opportunities for farmers and producers to supply public sector contracts; and launched the Year of Food and Farming—an industry-wide initiative supported by DEFRA, DfES and DOH. Other Government agencies are contributing to the initiative which also involves subject associations, teacher associations, key food, farming and countryside sector bodies, together with businesses working in the food, farming and countryside sectors.

The Department does not hold information on the proportion of publicly procured food of British origin in 2006. The Department is commissioning a MORI survey of local education authorities in England and is also working with its statisticians, key public sector procurers, the NFU, other trade bodies and the major food service companies to produce this information which it will place in the Library of the House when it is available.