消息/Climate change and nature

House of Commons committee tells Government to ‘drag public food procurement standards into the new decade’

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee has become the latest group to urge Government to make public sector food reflect the UK’s net zero commitment and support UK producers better.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The跨党欧洲委员会几乎所有人都支持威廉希尔中文网站维持对公共部门食品标准的改善的要求, including supporting small businesses, improving nutrition and animal welfare and using public sector food to lead a transition to more climate friendly diets.

The RSPCA今天发出了自己的电话to government to improve the animal welfare of public sector food, calling the current standards ‘baseline at best’ and warning that our public institutions risk propping up the worst kind of farming practices.

Last week, aCountryFile调查highlighted how current procurement standards are undermining British producers. They found that an ‘opt-opt’ clause related to cost, and a complete lack of enforcement of standards means food which doesn’t meet UK standards is routinely offered to public sector caterers. The investigation highlighted concerns that if the UK allows more low-grade food (like chlorine-washed chicken) into the UK as part of new trade deals, schoolchildren and hospital patients could be natural recipients of this produce if standards aren't improved.

The Committee’s recommendations include:

  • Improving the monitoring and enforcement of compliancewith food buying standards, using existing inspection bodies such as Ofsted (for schools) and the Care Quality Commission (for NHS Trusts), or where these bodies don’t exist, monitoring via annual surveys to be published by Defra.
  • Making the standards mandatory across all public sector bodiesin England (which would mean expanding their remit in England to include local councils and schools, as well as the NHS and some care homes).
  • Removing the exemption that allows caterers not to follow the standards on the basis of cost.
  • Overhauling the Government Buying Standardsto make them stronger on nutrition and animal welfare, and to make them reflect the UK’s net-zero emissions targets.
  • 支持英国生产者并为农民提供市场,展示了环境,动物福利和其他公共利益,镜像新农业法案的目标和资助原则。该报告还鼓励更广泛推出的动态采购系统,以便较小的生产者获得政府合同。

Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Select Committee, said:

“政府通过其食品采购系统支持高标准,小企业和英国农民的真正机会。我们的监狱,学校和医院每年花费数十亿美元,但政府购买标准不是最新的,并仍然强制执行。

因此,应迫切更新政府购买标准,并在公共部门进行强制性。如果我们未能采取行动,部长们的危险性占据了唇部的危险,以为重要的政策,并缩短他们的宣言承诺'鼓励公共部门购买英国,支持我们的农民并同时降低环境成本。“

Ruth Westcott, Sustain’s food and climate change coordinator at Sustain said:

我们非常高兴与委员会同意,公共部门食品是提供一些卫生,商业和气候变化优先事项的巨大错过机会。

看看委员会建议符合我们对净零的承诺,委员会推荐标准。在实践中,这意味着少吃但更好的肉类,更多的水果和蔬菜,更季节性的,当地种植的生产,具有较少的超加工食品。与标准明确规定购买更好的产品;更高福利和牧场喂养牲畜,并支持较小的供应商,这些提案将极大地利用高标准的英国农民,这正是我们需要看到的。

Andy Jones, Chair of the PSC100 (Public Sector Catering body) said:

“我们欢迎在本报告中提出的建议 - 很高兴看到欧洲委员会委员会认识到公共部门餐饮的重要性是如何为我们国家的健康以及制定一个好的,可持续的饮食看起来像是这样的。公共部门餐饮人员一直导致过渡william hill中文网站威廉希尔中文网站为了更好的食物,许多达到土壤协会的生命食品在这里提供了比最低标准更好的奖项和服务食物,并将我们的肉类减少了20%去年。这是为每个人提出的酒吧的时候了只能以适当的标准做到这一点,妥善规定并执行。

Whilst we welcome the report overall, I am concerned about the efficacy of Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission as enforcement agencies - they will need training and expertise in food and food standards. Good monitoring and enforcement is absolutely vital and we don't want to see this become a tick-box exercise. I look forward to the National Food Strategy addressing this and the government doing the same in the White Paper which is due to follow later this year."

The PSC100 group comprises caterers, dietitians, politicians, healthy eating campaigners and suppliers operating in the public sector. They aim to use their collective voices and experience to improve government legislation and action towards healthier catering and education.

The committee has urged that their recommendations be adopted through theNational Food Strategy白皮书这将遵循它。由Michael Gove委托的国家粮食策略的第2部分由Restaurateur Henry Dimbleby委任为今年晚些时候,并将包括政府能够做些什么的建议“确保该州的粮食直接支付 - 例如在学校,医院,监狱和政府办事处 - 既健康可持续william hill中文网站威廉希尔中文网站”. A White Paper, setting out how government will respond to the Strategy recommendations, will follow within six months.

Read Sustain's书面提交to the EFRA inquiry, orwatch Ruth Westcott give oral evidenceto the committee on 10th November 2020.

Climate change and nature: Sustain has taken a keen interest in the rapidly accumulating evidence about the effect of food and farming on climate change and nature, as scientific evidence emerges that our food system is a very significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.

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