HC Deb 28 January 1997 vol 289 cc206-8W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the outcome of the competition for the food supply contract for the armed forces. [13384]

Mr. Soames

The supply of food for the armed forces was contracted to the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes—NAAFI—in 1994 for a three-year period. The contract expires on the 30 September 1997 and the Department have been running a competition for the follow-on contract. After careful evaluation of the tenders received, the decision has been taken to award the new contract to Booker Foodservice Group, which was judged to offer the best overall value for money for the Department. The contract will be for a five-year period commencing 1 October 1997 and is worth in excess of £400 million.

The recommendations of the recent NAO report on supply of food to the armed forces are fully reflected in this contract.

NAAFI will, of course, continue to provide its traditional range of retail and other services to the armed forces. My Department is in discussion with Booker Foodservice and NAAFI to ensure a smooth transition, and to assist NAAFI to achieve a successful outcome to the restructuring already under way following last year's independent review.