Public sector food has the potential to deliver a number of government priorities, including making us healthier, benefiting our farmers, and leading a transition to sustainable diets. But evidence from Sustain and our members shows that it is failing to do so.
- School food standards, established in statutory legislation, have led to better dietary outcomes.
- Sustainable fish standards have been sucessfully adopted. Businesses adapt well to clear standards, and produce new products which make it easy for all to comply.
- There is overwhelming evidence on non-compliance with the Government Buying Standards overall.
- Compliance monitoring and reporting is unsatisfactory.
- Post-Brexit trade deals may mean lower-standard food on public sector menus.
- The Government Buying Standards must be reviewed to reflect the climate and nature emergency, support local producers better, and make standards mandatory across the public sector.
Submission to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Public Sector Procurement of Food
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Published 9 Apr 2021
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.