Let them eat hake, Government takes lead in buying sustainable fish

Published on Thursday, 16 June 2011 14:51
Posted by Scott Buckler

All fish served in Government departments and their agencies will come from sustainable sources, through the new Government Buying Standards announced today (June 16th)

The standards for all food procured by Government departments and their agencies will come into force for all new catering contracts from September 2011 and require that

* all food should be produced to UK or equivalent production standards where this does not increase overall costs;
* more food must be produced to higher environmental standards;
* that at least 50 per cent of tea and coffee must be fairly traded;
* that fresh produce should be seasonal; and
* food waste must be minimised.

Food Minister Jim Paice said:

“This is the delivery of a Government promise to ensure that we do not use taxpayers’ money to undermine our own farmers’ high standards of production. By doing so, we’re practising what we preach and challenging the rest of the public sector to follow.”

The new standards, developed by Defra and the Department of Health, mean that all food bought by Government departments must meet British or equivalent standards of production, wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs. For example, in future, all pork and pork products procured by Government should be produced to the same high welfare standards that UK pig producers have to meet.

The standards also include elements on healthy eating and include:

* purchasing healthier ingredients and foods lower in salt, saturated fat and added sugars;
* promoting best practice in cooking and serving food to help consumers choose the healthier option; and
* providing higher level criteria for Departments who wish to go further on portion size, calorie labelling and menu analysis.

Anne Milton, Minister for Public Health, said: “The standards show that Government is leading by example – by making sure there are healthier choices for people and that people have the right information at hand so they can choose healthier food more easily.”

Government Buying Standards for other major products and services have also been thoroughly revised to ensure they represent value for money for the taxpayer while helping to deliver our Greening Government Commitments.

 

Source: DEFRA

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