The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released new figures that show support for local food producers by buyers for the health service, ministry of Defence and prisons.
The NHS Supply chain now sources 70 per cent of its food from the UK, according to the data set, compared to 58.3 per cent a year ago. The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, has stepped up local UK sourcing from 43 per cent in 2007 to 59 per cent this year.
The National Offender Management Service (previously HM Prison Service) showed an increase from 37 per cent to 49.
Farming and Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said: “Small and local producers are the lifeblood of our food industry, and that’s why we’ve made such an effort to increase the amount of local, seasonal food served by public bodies.
“Buying local food and eating with the seasons where it’s possible reduces the impact on the environment and supports our businesses, and the government is looking even further at how to increase the amount of British food we buy and increasing the opportunities for small producers and suppliers to tender for government contracts.”