HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 c67W
18. Mr. Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to ensure domestic sourcing of food for the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [26112]

Mr. Spellar

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East (Dr. Kumar) on 4 February 1998,Official Report, column 654.

Mrs. Betty Williams

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of meat purchased by his Department has been produced in the United Kingdom in each of the past five years. [26096]

Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries from which the supply of(a) beef and (b) sheepmeat were sourced for each year that the NAAFI held the Ministry of Defence's public-funded messing contract. [28348]

Mr. Spellar

Although unfortunately figures do not exist for previous years, our contractor, Booker Foodservice estimate that some 40% of meat procured over the 12 months ending September 1998 will be from UK sources.

As the House has shown particular interest in our procurement of beef, I should add that in recent weeks we have been working with Booker, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and fanners' representatives on how the position might be improved. Furthermore, I am glad to tell the House that Booker's estimate of 13% for the percentage of beef we buy from UK sources and which I gave to the House recently has now been revised by Booker to around 30%.