Departmental Food

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what account her Department's food procurement policy takes of animal welfare.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Minister of State (Disabled People), Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People), Department for Work and Pensions

The Department does not procure food directly, but has a contract for the provision of fully serviced accommodation which includes catering. The contract is with Telereal Trillium and its catering services supplier is Eurest (part of the Compass Group UK and Ireland). Since 2003, the Department has been working with these suppliers, actively pursuing a Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative action plan and one of the key objectives of this initiative is to raise farming standards.

Compass Group have confirmed that they endorse the Farm Animal Welfare Council's Five Freedoms concept and provide full traceability of products and suppliers within their approved supply chain to ensure animals reared for meat, fish, milk and eggs are raised to high standards of animal welfare.

Compass Group have also confirmed a long-standing commitment to source their seafood as sustainably as possible. They were the first foodservice company to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification enabling them to serve certified sustainable, MSC-labelled seafood choices. Within the DWP contract many of their sites are buying products to these standards and promotional activities are run to encourage DWP staff to purchase the more ethically sourced products.

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