Food: Procurement

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure that government offices and departments procure local food.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to do all it can to ensure that UK suppliers are able to compete effectively for public sector contracts in line with our current international obligations and guidance issued by the Crown Commercial Service.

In 2014 the Government introduced the Plan for the Public Procurement of Food and Catering Services and from 2017 central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, so that all food that can be bought locally will be bought locally. This will include use of a Balanced Scorecard approach to sourcing food which recognises factors such as health and nutrition, resource efficiency, and local and cultural engagement. As contracts are renewed central Departments will adopt this approach.

These arrangements will simplify the public procurement process, and should help open up the opportunity to compete to more small and medium sized businesses and local producers.

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