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Government responds to 2019 consultation on Buying Standards Nutrition Update

Today the Government has published its response to the 2019 consultation on updating the nutrition standards in the government buying standards for food and catering services.

Hospital Food copyright: Pexels.

Hospital Food copyright: Pexels.

The official consultation response for the Government Buying Standards for food and catering services (GBSF) can be found here

Updates and changes include:

  • updating mandatory and voluntary nutrition standards for reducing salt to reflect Government’s 2017 salt targets as referenced in the consultation document; and any subsequent revisions as set out in the recently published 2024 targets;
  • updating the meal deals mandatory nutrition standard to ensure food and drinks used within meal deals meet the healthier options in the GBSF standards;
  • updating the mandatory nutrition standard for reducing saturated fat to include pre-packed sandwiches and other pre-packed meals;
  • updating the voluntary best practice nutrition standard for increasing fibre, to ensure main meals containing beans and/or pulses as a main source of protein are made available at least once a week;  
  • retaining the best practice nutrition standard requirement for menus (for food and beverages).

You can read Sustain's response to the 2019 consultation here, including our recommendations.

Ruth Westcott, Sustain's Climate, Nature and Fish Campaign coordinator, commented:

"The challenges with the Government Buying standards go further than nutrition; they are currently failing to ensure that taxpayers money is spent on supporting top quality British producers or helping to make it easy to adopt more sustainable diets. The National Food Strategy today recommended that the Buying Standards as a whole be overhauled, so they reflected a more climate-friendly diet. As part of that we must see an increase in portions of vegetables in meals and more grass-fed, free range and higher welfare British produce. Defra are due to launch a consultation on this later in the summer."


Published Thursday 15 July 2021

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