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Food Procurement

Justice written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the same standards of animal welfare for whole eggs apply to imported liquefied eggs procured by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible;

(2) what proportion of food sourced by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available;

(3) what steps (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible are taking to ensure that they meet the Government's buying standards for food and catering.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) supports the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in achieving full compliance with UK egg industry legislation.

(a) In accordance with EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC, which prohibits the use of conventional cages from 1 January 2012, the Department has ensured that all egg-producing birds are from improved enriched colonies. The Department's supplier of foodstuff to Her Majesty's Prison Service, which accounts for 99.6% of direct food procurement within the Ministry of Justice, became compliant in 2010. The Department does not purchase liquefied eggs under the current foodstuff contract.

All egg products supplied to the MOJ must comply with the relevant UK and EU legislation. Suppliers are required to provide products that are sourced in compliance with EC regulations and from assured providers under animal welfare conditions that are compatible with the UK animal welfare regulations.

(b) Information regarding public bodies is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate costs.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is committed to the Government Buying Standards (GBS) for food. This encourages the public sector to procure food in a manner that promotes sustainable development and does not discriminate against local suppliers and UK producers.

(a) For the latest period for which figures are available, the proportion of domestically-produced food used (by value) is approximately 56%.

The Department and its contractors continue to look for opportunities to enable domestic producers to compete for supply contracts while seeking to achieve value for money. The Department encourages its suppliers to procure food from UK producers where possible.

(b) Information regarding public bodies is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate costs.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is committed to be compliant with the GBS for food and catering.

The Department's suppliers are obligated to source in line with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) policy on GBS to ensure supply achieves value for money.

Examples where the Department meets the mandatory food and catering services standards include the following:

(1) Animal welfare: 100% of eggs (in shell) sourced from systems that do not use conventional cages. If from a caged system, enriched cages are used.

(2) Fish: 100% seafood procured compliant with sustainability standards indicated by Marine Conservation Society's or Marine Stewardship Councils list of fish to eat.

(3) Recycling: There is a mandatory agreement for prisons which account for 99.6% of direct food spend within the Department for the disposal of waste oils and fats through the controlled waste regulations.

(4) All new contracts are tendered to reflect GBS policy.

(b) Information regarding public bodies is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate costs.

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