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Departmental Food

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the (a) meat, (b) fruit and (c) vegetables procured by his Department in the last 12 months was produced in the UK. (281942)

The figures for 2008-09 are not yet available.

The proportion of domestically produced food procured by the Department has gone up from 58.5 per cent., in 2006-07 to 74 per cent., in 2007-08.

Quadrant Catering provides the staff restaurant and hospitality catering at the Department of Health sites in London and Eurest Services provides the same services to Department for Work and Pensions, which includes the Quarry House site in Leeds where some Department of Health employees are based. Both Quadrant Catering and Eurest Services are part of Compass Group UK and Ireland, one of the United Kingdom’s largest contract caterers.

Specific information about British products used within the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions contracts is listed as follows. This information was made publicly available in late 2008 and there will be another report produced towards the end of 2009.

Proportion of domestically produced food used (by value), i.e. indigenously produced, 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

Type

Percentage

Bakery—e.g. bread loaves and rolls (i.e. origin of ingredients used and not where baked)

100

Dairy

Whole eggs (i.e. in shells)

100

Fresh milk (e.g. whole, semi-skimmed, skimmed)

100

Cheese

85

Vegetables, salads and fruit

Ware potatoes—whole, unprepared

95

Processed potatoes—for prepared both whole and cut

95

Roots and onions—e.g. carrots, parsnips, onions, turnips and swedes

95

Brassicas—e.g. brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.

64

Legumes—e.g. beans (broad), beans (runner and dwarf), peas (green for market), peas (green for processing), peas (harvested dry)

50

Protected vegetables—e.g. tomatoes (round, vine, plum and cherry), tomatoes (cold), cucumbers, lettuce, celery, sweet peppers

25

Other vegetables—e.g. asparagus, celery, leeks, lettuce, watercress

511

Orchard fruit—e.g. dessert apples, culinary apples, pears, plums

511

Soft fruit—e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants

411

Meat and poultry

Poultry meat

100

Beef and veal

85

Mutton and lamb

60

Bacon

0

Pork

85

Fish

40

Overall percentage indigenous food

74

Overall percentage indigenous food by value if available

75

1 Overall

Two reports have been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the proportion of domestically produced food used by Government Departments, and supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS supply chain and HM Prison Service, covering the years from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008, and the previous year. The latest report (November 2008) and the first one can be found at:

www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/awareness.htm

The report gives details of the proportion of individual meat, fruit and vegetable categories purchased. Although it is too early to demonstrate a trend, the latest report indicates that the amount of domestically produced food consumed by Government Departments in England is increasing. Data for the Department of Health were not included in these reports, but will be included in a third report that is expected to be published at the end of 2009.