HC Deb 27 March 1996 vol 274 c637W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much beef was purchased by his Department in each of the last five years; how much of this was British; if he will list the other countries from which his Department purchases beef together with the quantity; and what plans he has to review his policy in respect of purchasing British beef. [23000]

Mr. Arbuthnot

Since 1 October 1994, the supply of food to the armed forces has been the responsibility of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute. My Department does not specify the source from which NAAFI should obtain beef—or any other meat—but the majority is supplied from south America and until recently some from EC intervention stocks. The use of British beef joints is therefore extremely small, but a range of beef products—for example mince, offal and beefburgers produced from British beef—is provided to the armed forces.

Prior to October 1994, beef was purchased directly by my Department but no records were kept of the quantities sourced by a particular country, although the majority was imported from south America.

In view of yesterday's announcement, there is no perceived reason to change existing arrangements.