Departmental Food

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Europe)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is fully committed to the Government Food Procurement Initiative. Within the UK we have engaged a catering contractor who is committed to animal welfare and is working with suppliers, clients and animal welfare organisations to promote the use of farm assurance schemes which achieve best practises in animal welfare. They fully endorse the Five Freedoms as set out by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. They have met with representatives of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Freedom Food and Compassion In World Farming to discuss ways they can improve animal welfare.

Where economically possible, our catering contractor purchases its products from approved free range suppliers. All fresh eggs supplied are free range.

While free range supplies are not always economically viable, all suppliers hold Farm Assurance Accreditation. To obtain this award our approved suppliers have to meet objectives such as farm animal management, environment and hygiene management, feed composition, housing and handling facilities, medicines and veterinary treatments and transport of livestock.

This information refers to the contracted catering service in the UK only. Provision of information globally could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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