UK contractors: British food industry to see £400m boost
Contractors working within the food industry will be interested to hear that £400m of potential new business for the British food industry has been announced.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss made the announcement earlier this week, as part of the government’s long-term economic plan to back British businesses.
The Prime Minister has said that from 2017, all of central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, so that all food that can be bought locally will be bought locally.
This will be achieved through a new, simplified food and drink buying standard, ‘The Plan for Public Procurement’, which was launched on Monday 21st June to benefit thousands of British farmers, small businesses, rural economies and the British public.
According to recent figures, the public sector in England spends £1.2 billion every year on food and drink, up to £600 million of that is spent on imported produce – £400 million of which could be sourced from within the UK. The commitment from central government to use this new buying standard means that just over half of the £400 million will be up for grabs by British farmers.
The wider public sector will also be encouraged to use the new structure, with the expectation that all schools and hospitals will in future, serve more locally reared meats and freshly picked fruit and vegetables.
Prime Minister David Cameron, said, “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.
“It’s a triple win – and will mean a brighter future for our country”.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, added, “This move will mean that food served in canteens across the public sector can be more local, seasonal and tastier.
“It will help drive growth in Britain’s first class food and drink industry and benefit the environment through reduced waste, higher take-up of meals and less unappetising food left on plates.
“This is a huge boost to British farmers and producers and for students, patients and employees who want to enjoy fantastic food.”
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