Date lodged: 21 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the level of public sector procurement of Scottish produce.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 30 November 2017
The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the level of public sector procurement of Scottish produce.
We want Scotland’s public sector to be at the forefront of our efforts to source more local produce and earlier this year convened a meeting with stakeholders across the supply chain involved in public sector food and, together, identified some of the actions needed to stimulate greater levels of local sourcing. In taking this forward we will:-
• Build capacity by investing, jointly with industry, £100k in a new Supplier Development Programme for small and medium-sized food and drink businesses to help them compete for public sector contracts;
• Increase funding from £300k a year to £400k over the next 3 years to expand the Food for Life Programme which currently operates in 11 local authority areas. This extra funding will allow the Programme to work with current award-holders to retain their current award as well as trying to move those accredited to Bronze up to Silver or Gold. In addition an increased focus will be made on seeking commitment from the other 21 local authorities to introduce the Food for Life programme and further stimulate demand for local produce; and
• Share best practice across the public sector, through the development and dissemination of new ‘exemplar menus’ to support the move towards more sustainable food. The menus, which are currently in development, will reflect updated advice from Food Standards Scotland on diet and the review of statutory nutritional standards for school food and will be a beacon for local sourcing, quality and health.