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Department for Education: Food

Question for Department for Education

UIN 40779, tabled on 18 August 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to encourage procurement of British produce within meals available for (a) staff of his Department and (b) people in his Department's care since 1 January 2021.

Answered on

10 September 2021

The Department has staff in 13 offices across England and is only responsible for the procurement of produce for meals in one of these offices. The Coventry Office contract to provide meals, available for staff to purchase, was let before 1 January 2021. The remaining 12 offices are managed by other government departments or other organisations where the Department for Education has no involvement with the meals contracts.

The supplier for the Coventry Office meals contract is committed to supporting local produce, with all fresh goods to travel a maximum of 50 miles. 100% of the fresh meat is reared and sourced through local British suppliers, all fresh fruit and vegetables are sourced through local and regional suppliers and all fresh bakery products are made by bakers in close proximity of the Coventry office.

Environments where teaching takes place, such as schools, colleges and universities, are autonomous and have the freedom to make their own procurement decisions based on individual need and circumstances regarding British produce used within meals.

The Department has, and continues to review, a wide range of deals across public sector buying organisations, including three catering frameworks. All have been assessed for compliance with procurement regulations, ease of use, suitability and value for money.