Latest Public Sector News

21.07.14

Cutting public sector food waste through new buying standard

From 2017, central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, in an attempt to reduce waste through food reduction.

Newly appointed environment secretary Elizabeth Truss revealed that this will be done through a new, simplified food and drink buying standard.

The Plan for Public Procurement, which was launched today, is expected to benefit thousands of British farmers, small businesses, rural economies and the British public.

Currently, the public sector in England spends £1.2bn every year on food and drink, according to government figures. However, up to £600m of that is spent on imported produce, £400m of which could be sourced from within the UK.

Defra has stated that the commitment from central government to use this new buying standard means that just over half of the £400m will be up for grabs by British farmers. In addition, the wider public sector, including schools and hospitals, will be encouraged and supported in using the new framework.

Truss said: “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.”

Under the new proposals, public sector buyers will now judge potential suppliers against five key criteria: how food is produced and whether the food was produced locally; the health and nutritional content of food purchased; the resource efficiency of producing the food, such as water and energy use and waste production; how far the food bought meets government’s socio-economic priorities such as involvement of SMEs; and quality of service and value for money.

The ‘Plan for Public Procurement’ has been published following Dr Peter Bonfield’s Review into public produce procurement, which was commissioned by Defra last year. He said: “The appetite for change is there - by creating the right environment and giving organisations the right tools, small businesses will be able to sell nutritious, top quality food to the public sector market. This is the right approach for our health, our environment and also British businesses.”

Prime minister David Cameron also stated that by opening up these contracts, the government can help create more jobs, invest more in farming businesses and make sure people have a healthier lifestyle.

“It’s a triple win – and will mean a brighter future for our country,” he said.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >