Schools and hospitals should buy more food locally, says Owen Paterson

Mr Paterson, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs secretary for the United Kingdom, said that public services had to do more to help supermarkets and businesses source locally to bring down the amount of food that is imported. 

Britain imports billions of pounds of food every year – nearly a quarter of all food consumed every year – and ministers are keen to encourage more local suppliers to source hospitals and schools..

In a speech made to the Local Government Association's rural conference in Warwick on September 5, Mr Paterson said, The primary concern has to be getting good quality, value and consistency of supply so we can provide nutritious meals to school children and those in care at an affordable price to council taxpayers."

He continued, “I believe that local government has a huge part to play in supporting, and benefiting from, this agenda. They have increased the amount of fresh, local food they use. This has boosted the local economy, reduced environmental impacts and improved the quality. These improvements have been made with no additional cost."

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