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
- 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.