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Food: Public Sector

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 15233, tabled on 9 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to support public sector procurement of British farmed foods.

Answered on

17 June 2022

We are committed to opening up public sector supply chains and supporting a diverse range of suppliers.

We launched a consultation on public sector food and catering policy alongside the Government Food Strategy on 13 June. In the consultation, we are proposing that the public sector reports on progress towards meeting an aspiration that 50% of its food expenditure is on food produced locally or to higher environmental production standards. The proposed policy also requires suppliers to meet UK production standards or equivalent, high animal welfare standards, and public sector menus must reflect seasonal, local food.  More details of the consultation can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/public-sector-food-procurement/food-and-catering-consultation/.

Under domestic and international regulations, we cannot stipulate that food procured for the public sector must be British. Nevertheless, there is a strong case for celebrating sustainable, high-quality produce in the public sector.