Skip to main content

Food Supply

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 282357, tabled on 25 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to ensure that public services that (a) care homes, (b) schools, (c) hospitals and (d) prisons will have adequate supplies of food in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answered on

9 September 2019

We remain focused on ensuring our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU with a deal as soon as possible. As a responsible Government, for almost three years we have been undertaking extensive work to prepare for a no deal scenario and minimise disruption to ensure trade continues to operate smoothly from the day we leave.

The UK has a high degree of food security built on access to a range of sources, including strong domestic production and imports from other countries. This will not change whether we leave the EU with or without a deal. Defra, as the lead Government department for food supply, has long established relationships with industry, and we are working closely with key stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios.

Public sector food provision for specific sectors including hospitals, prisons, schools and care settings is led by the relevant Government departments. However, Defra has been working closely with lead departments (DfE, DHSC, MOJ, MOD) to support their contingency planning for food supply to public services. Defra is providing advice and support to these departments especially to support their engagement with the food industry. Lead Government departments are engaging with key suppliers for schools, hospitals and prisons to ensure the supply chain is prepared and supply is maintained.