Bill aims to guarantee 50 per cent of public food procurement comes from British suppliers

The NFU is urging MPs to back the ‘Buy British Bill’ and support its passage through Parliament.

The Bill should increase British sourcing in schools

The Bill should increase British sourcing in schools

MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion’s Private Member’s Bill - Public Procurement (British Goods and Services) – was set for its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 15 March.

The NFU said it has worked closely with Champion to develop the Bill, which would amend two existing Acts of Parliament relating to requirements to be followed in public procurement. These include the need for a contracting authority to consider what proportion of the food originates from the UK.

NFU deputy president David Exwood said: “We know there is huge support across the country for food served in the public sector to be British. Our own research shows 76 per cent of the public want government to commit to sourcing at least half of all food for schools, prisons and hospitals from British farms.

“However, despite the public procurement of food encompassing a spend of over £2.4 billion, disappointingly, there is currently no record of what proportion of this food is currently supplied by British farmers and growers.

“In our election manifesto, the NFU is calling on the next government to commit to sourcing 50 per cent of food into the public sector from British farms, and the reporting of the origin of public sector-sourced food which is essential to monitor progress towards this ambition.

“This would guarantee more British farmers and growers delivering high-quality, fresh, seasonal and affordable food to world-leading environmental and welfare standards into our schools, prisons, hospitals and the military.

“We fully support Sarah Champion for introducing her Bill and encourage all Parliamentarians to support it and back British food and farming.”