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Fair Trade Initiative

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s policy is on the use of fair trade goods (a) in staff catering facilities and (b) at official departmental functions and meetings; and if he will make a statement. (183851)

There are no mandatory policy requirements in place for the procurement of fair trade products. MOD catering services are usually provided as part of a site multi-activity contract and may include a pay-as-you-dine requirement for catering services in military establishments. The MOD is committed to supporting ethical trading, wherever possible, subject to the need to obtain best value for money. Each catering contractor may choose to offer fair trade products in their tender for a contract but a bid cannot be rejected or considered non-compliant because it does not include any desired fair trade options. After contract award, contract documents can be used to make it clear that, where the winning tenderer is able to provide fair trade options, such products should be made available.

The requirements for official functions and meetings are usually procured through the on-site catering service.