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Farron welcomes locally sourced pledge

July 21, 2014 2:00 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming Tim Farron MP has welcomed the news that by 2017 all of central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, so that all food that can be bought locally will be bought locally.

By 2017, all of central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, so that all food that can be bought locally will be bought locally. This will be done through a new, simplified food and drink buying standard, 'The Plan for Public Procurement', which was launched today to benefit thousands of British farmers, small businesses, rural economies and the British public.

The public sector in England spends £1.2 billion every year on food and drink. Up to £600 million of that is spent on imported produce, £400 million of which could be sourced from within the UK. The commitment from central government to use this new buying standard means that just over half of the £400 million will be up for grabs by British farmers. In addition, the wider public sector will be encouraged and supported in using the new framework with the expectation that all schools and hospitals will, in future, serve more locally reared meats and freshly picked fruit and vegetables.

Tim said: "This is good news for farmers and rural communities.. It is something I have long pushed for, I have long believed that the government should use its financial muscle to support the agriculture. This announcement will make this happen."