Welsh Government urged to buy more Welsh food produce
- Published on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 12:23
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has called on the Welsh Government and the Assembly Commission to target complete use of Welsh suppliers where food is grown and produced locally.
While there has been a big increase in the use of Welsh products, non-Wales-based suppliers are still used for items including cooked meats, bought-in sandwiches, dried goods and fruit and vegetables. Some products are supplied from as far away as Leeds and London.
At present 315 out of 375 products that can be produced and grown in Wales are used under the All Wales Catering Contract (AWCC), according to research for Plaid Cymru.
Ms Wood said: "The Welsh Government and the Assembly Commission have increased the number of Welsh products and suppliers substantially since 2009 and that is good news but there is still much more than can be done.
"We need to grow our economy and that includes, where possible and providing food safety standards are met, using as many Welsh producers and suppliers as possible. The need to reduce food miles is a must and we should also set an example to other public sector bodies to support our Welsh businesses.
"Government and the Commission through their contractors should be obliged to consider sustainability and, for example, whether more Welsh producers and suppliers can be used rather than relying on cooked meat being delivered from Leeds or frozen bakery items coming from London.
"Having met with farming unions at the Royal Welsh Show, I know that local food suppliers are in need of support more than ever in these tough economic times."