HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc69-70WS
Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on food by his Department and by each of the agencies for which it is responsible in(a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03; what proportion of that food by value was produced in the United Kingdom; what guidance he has issued to encourage the procurement of home-produced food; and if he will make a statement. [129374]

Maria Eagle

Expenditure on food in DWP is mainly limited to official hospitality, working lunches and canteen subsidies. The expenditure figures that are available are in the following table.

Our main canteen catering service provider has estimated that, where they have total control over the source and origins of products, approximately 75 per cent. of fresh produce, by quantity, is of UK origin. It is not possible to provide a similar estimate for food provided for official hospitality and working lunches due to the large number of suppliers involved.

DEFRA are currently working with DWP private sector partners and canteen catering service providers to raise awareness of sustainable purchasing practices and to highlight local sourcing issues. We are also working with our partners to develop an action plan to implement the Sustainable Food Procurement initiative recently introduced by DEFRA.

1Official hospitality and working lunches (£) Canteen subsidies (£ million)
2001–02 726,000 3.5
2002–03 569,000 3.6
1 The figures provided for official hospitality and working lunches relate only to that included in the former DSS financial management system. They exclude any expenditure funded by the former Employment Service as the current financial systems do not enable the spend on food to be identified. DWP is currently implementing a new financial management system which will identity all such spend in future.