Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

Multi-million pound boost for British food industry as public sector told to buy local

The government has announced a new and improved food and drink buying standard, which means from 2017 central government will commit to buying local produce. Overall, up to £400 million could be spent on food and drink sourced from the UK.

Currently, government, hospitals, schools and other public sector organisations in the UK spend £1.2 billion every year on food and drink. Up to £600 million of that is spent on imported produce, meaning £400 million could be put into the economy and support farmers if food and drink is sourced locally.

The new guidelines are published in The Plan for Public Procurement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Now, prime minister David Cameron says that from 2017, all of central government will need to procure their food and drink from local sources, supporting British farmers. Other public sector organisations will also be encouraged to do the same.

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said, “This move will mean that food served in canteens across the public sector can be more local, seasonal and tastier. This is a huge boost to British farmers and producers and for students, patients and employees who want to enjoy fantastic food.”

There will be five criteria in which suppliers will be judged as to whether they will be taken on – whether the food is produced locally, health and nutritional content, resource efficiency in production, involvement of small, medium enterprises and value for money.

Former environmental secretary Owen Paterson said in January this year that consumers should buy more locally produced, seasonal groceries. He said 24% of British food is imported even though the nation has a great fruit and vegetable sector.

Cameron argues the new buying standard will not mean the public sector pays more for food and drink, as more British suppliers will want to enter the market and competition will help to bring prices down.

“Our long-term economic plan is all about backing the do-ers and the hard-workers – and no one does more or works as hard in Britain today than our farmers. By opening up these contracts, we can help them create more jobs, invest in their businesses and make sure people in our country have a healthier lifestyle”, he said.


Publication date: 7/22/2014



Other news in this sector:

10/17/2017 "In five years, Russia will be self-sufficient in tomatoes"
10/17/2017 Highest rate of agricultural growth for low-income countries
10/17/2017 Egyptian food exports to Europe rise 21%
10/17/2017 VN shifts away from agriculture?
10/17/2017 Growers see strong pricing as customers seek out hot peppers
10/17/2017 Future of CAP: Who'll provide our food?
10/16/2017 Czech Republic: Tomato producers set up their own sales organization
10/16/2017 Romania’s food imports grow fast
10/16/2017 Peru: Lambayeque exported more than 53,000 tons of capsicum
10/16/2017 FAO releases The State of Food and Agriculture report
10/16/2017 4th meeting of China-Russia Agricultural Cooperation Subcommittee
10/16/2017 GroFin secures $10m USAID grant to back East African agribusinesses
10/16/2017 Second Committee considers role of AI in advancing SDGs
10/16/2017 "Almost 90% of edible tomatoes thrown away based on appearance"
10/16/2017 US: SNAP benefits play strong role in food budgets
10/13/2017 Global Hunger Index spotlights uneven progress in reducing hunger
10/13/2017 "Vietnam should improve quality to increase ag exports to South Korea"
10/13/2017 US: Harvesting local food opportunities
10/13/2017 Spain: Extremadura closes tomato campaign with more kilos than initially contracted
10/13/2017 Kazakhstan: Agro-science development until 2020