NFU pushes for publication of public food origin under “Buy British Bill”

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The NFU is calling for MPs to back the “Buy British Bill” that will publish details on UK public food origins.

MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion’s Private Member’s Bill – Public Procurement (British Goods and Services) – has its Second Reading in the House of Commons today.

The NFU worked alongside Ms Champion to develop the Bill, which looks at amending two Acts of Parliament that relate to the requirements that need to be followed in public procurement.

These reference the need for a contracting authority to consider what proportion of the food originates from the UK.

See also: Scottish Young Farmers raise £4k for RSABI

NFU Deputy President David Exwood said: “We know there is huge support across the country for food served in the public sector to be British.

Our own research shows 76% of the public want government to commit to sourcing at least half of all food for schools, prisons and hospitals from British farms.”

“However, despite the public procurement of food encompassing a spend of over £2.4 billion, disappointingly, there is currently no record of what proportion of this food is currently supplied by British farmers and growers.

Mt Exwood said that this informs their reasoning behind their election manifesto, and that they will be calling for the next government to commit to sourcing 50% of the food in the public sector being from British farms.

They also want to see the reporting of the origins of this public sector food to monitor progress and to guarantee more British farmers and growers deliver high-quality product into UK schools, prisons, hospitals and the military.

“We fully support Sarah Champion for introducing her Bill and encourage all Parliamentarians to support it and back British food and farming,” he concluded.

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