The chair of the Hospital Caterers Association Kevan Wallace is calling for "common sense" after the Conservative Party outlined plans to ensure public bodies buy British.
Shadow Defra secretary Nick Herbert outlined a range of proposals at the launch of the party's Honest Food Campaign, including a requirement for all new public sector contracts to specify that food purchased must meet British standards of production, wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs.
In addition, Herbert proposed developing a Code for Sustainable Food for public sector bodies including hospitals, care homes, prisons and schools to work to, and a requirement for local councils and NHS organisations to publish details of food purchased, so that they can be held to account.
However Wallace told Caterer that some of this is already in progress as part of the Healthier Food Mark but added that a policy like this needs cash. "If they're going to start cutting budgets, which we've already started to see, then these proposals aren't going to square up," he said.
"Common sense needs to be applied. It all takes money and if we are to achieve this, food budgets need to be ring-fenced."
By Janie Stamford
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