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Farron backs Farmers Weekly campaign to get more British food into hospitals

June 5, 2013 9:53 AM

Rural TFSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has backed a campaign run by Farmers Weekly to get more UK food into our hospitals.

Currently the NHS spends £500 million on food and only half of that food is sourced in the UK. The 'Get Better, Get British' campaign contacted more than 200 hospital trusts across the UK and put questions to them under the Freedom Of Information Act. The picture that emerged was of a patchy approach to hospital food, with purchasing varying widely from area to area. Two-thirds of hospitals said they did not know where their food was sourced. It also emerged about 40% of food served to patients was imported.

Tim wants to promote the use of more British food in hospitals by:

· Exposing the lack of British food served by some hospitals and investigating the reasons behind this

· Highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of buying British

· Showcasing best practice among hospitals and suppliers that buy locally produced food.

Tim has committed to lobby the government to back UK farmers and to lobby both DEFRA and Department for Health Ministers to get more UK food into our hospitals.

Tim said: "The NHS has been omitted from government buying standards, which stipulate that food bought for government departments meets certain quality criteria. We need to back UK farmers and produce, so I am delighted to support this campaign."