HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 cc569-70W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to encourage restaurants to use local produce. [133895]

Mr. Bradshaw

[holding answer 27 October 2003]: As part of the Department's Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food, we have agreed a programme of measures aimed at helping find new outlets (including restaurants) for locally produced food and drink. Implementation of the programme is being led by Food from Britain in England with the help of additional funding from this Department and includes: regional food exhibitions and meet the buyer events with the specific objective of targeting caterers and chefs; organising a series of seminars this year aimed at raising the profile of locally produced food and drink with catering college students; producing, with "Visit Britain", an in-depth trade guide aimed at helping producers understand the opportunities presented by the public's growing enthusiasm for locally produced food and drink when eating out; and supporting a new guide, to be launched later this year, which highlights those restaurants and hotels providing the best locally produced food and drink.