Public Sector: Food

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will ensure support for British horticulture in the balanced scorecard approach for public procurement of food and drink.

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

The Plan for Public Procurement aims to open up the Government market to more small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and local producers by providing a level playing field on which UK producers, including horticultural businesses, can compete.

The balanced scorecard (BSC) approach to food procurement encourages caterers and wholesalers to source products that open up the supply chain to SMEs, such as letting supply contracts in smaller lots. It also encourages businesses which supply locally sourced, seasonal produce. These measures will make it easier for horticultural growers to participate in contracts to supply food to central Government and other participating public sector bodies.

Furthermore, the GB Food Marketplace allows producers and suppliers to quickly certify themselves against the key BSC measurements, including healthy, local, seasonal food and SMEs. This helps ensure there is a consistent buying approach across the public sector that supports locally sourced, seasonal produce.

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