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St. George's Day

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping Labour, Sherwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Country Land and Business Association about St. George's Day breakfasts.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government recognises the benefits of local food and welcomes initiatives like the Country Land and Business Association's (CLA) initiative that aim to encourage people to buy more locally sourced foods. Money is available under the England Rural Development Programme to support activities such as the establishment of Farmers' Markets, the development of regional and local branding of food and the formation of co-operative groups to market quality products. DEFRA has also worked with the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) to produce best practice guides designed to show how supermarkets and food service companies can work with small local producers and explore how barriers to local sourcing can be overcome. In addition to this, our Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative is designed to encourage public sector bodies to procure their food in a manner that promotes sustainable development and to encourage more small and local businesses to compete to supply them with food.

The CLA initiative also complements the Government's three-year programme of support for the quality regional food sector which is being delivered by Food From Britain. This £3 million programme aims to promote the quality regional food sector and consists of a range of activities focussing on trade development, increasing competitiveness and raising consumer awareness.

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