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Departmental Food

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account his Department’s food procurement policy takes of animal welfare. (325531)

DEFRA has worked over a number of years to provide guidance to Departments on incorporating sustainable development objectives into their food procurement operations. This explicitly includes issues of animal welfare.

We strongly encourage the procurement of products that meet higher animal welfare standards wherever possible. DEFRA has been working at ministerial level to encourage the public sector to procure food to the highest possible standards.

In February this year new guidance was published, advising public sector procurers how to incorporate an additional contract award criterion for pork, bacon and other pigmeat products. This is aimed at improving the quality of the products procured and asks procurers to ensure that supply tenders are able to offer pigmeat products that comply with certain welfare and animal health standards.