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Departmental Food

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to ensure that the meat and dairy products procured by his Department and its non-departmental bodies are free range or produced to standards equivalent to those of the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme. (323070)

For UK armed forces personnel “in barracks”, when personnel are not being fed under the catering retail and leisure contracts, and those serving on operations and overseas exercises, there is a single food supply contractor, Purple Foodservice Solutions (PFS).

PFS increasingly takes into account ethical and sustainable criteria in their procurement, and is required to seek best value for money in the open market consistent with meeting Ministry of Defence food quality standards which are linked to the Office of Government Commerce food quality standards.

PFS procures meat and dairy proteins in the UK that meet the Red Tractor Scheme (a UK farm assured scheme which is the equivalent to the RSPCA Freedom Foods scheme) and UK animal welfare standards. Any which are purchased outside the UK comply with the EU animal welfare standards.

Dairy products meet the Red Tractor requirements, and eggs meet the Lion Standard, an internationally recognised quality code of practice.