Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
NICK Smith MP is calling for the Government to back British in their canteens after their poor food record was revealed.
The Shadow Farming Minister had previously criticised DEFRA for promoting their Great British Food campaign while importing nearly half the food for their Department.
Now after a latest series of questions across departments revealed a similar story across the board, Mr Smith called on the Government to do their bit in supporting British.
While the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills were able to demonstrate a food record of 75% British, the performance was far poorer at DECC (48%), the DWP (42%) and CLG (34%).
When taking out their figures for meat and dairy the Foreign and Commonwealth Office dipped to 35%, while the Home Office, Defence, Transport and Justice refused to provide data as it could only be obtained at a “disproportionate cost”.
The Treasury and DfID failed to disclose their record in their responses.
Speaking after the results were published, Mr Smith said the Government needed to take a good hard look at how they support British produce -; and DEFRA should be leading the way.
“DEFRA have trumpeted Great British Food while being all too content to look elsewhere to feed themselves.
“Now we see several other departments doing even worse. If the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills can hit 75%, why can’t everyone else?
“The Secretary of State for DEFRA should take a break from her jet-setting trade missions around the globe and get Great British Food on the agenda at the next cabinet meeting.
“I’m particularly concerned that the Ministry of Defence failed to respond.
“They supplied this information in 2013 and three years later they’re dodging the question. It looks bad for them.”
Nick’s question to Governmental departments was as follows – To ask what the annual budget is for food produced for their Department’s offices; and what proportion of food produced for their Department was sourced from British producers in the last period for which figures are available.
A full copy of all answers can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&member=3928&keywords=british
The Ministry of Defence responded to a question from Huw Irranca-Davies MP on July 15, 2013. The question and response can be found at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-07-15a.164762.h&s=food+defence+british+speaker%3A11347#g164762.q0