In the Chamber: Public Procurement Food Contracts (Access for Farmers)

Public Procurement Food Contracts (Access for Farmers)
Rhoda’s question to Fergus Ewing
14 November 2018
Rhoda :
It is very difficult for small producers to supply their local primary school or the health sector. Could the cabinet secretary address the matter in a good food nation bill?
Fergus Ewing: There is no need for me to do so, because the work is already under way and in train. The food for life programme is extremely successful—indeed, Mr Whittle mentioned it a fortnight ago in relation to East Ayrshire Council.
We have a £400,000 programme to extend that good work to all local authorities over a period of years. There are many examples of great success by relatively small or medium-sized businesses in supplying food to schools around Scotland.
For example, Swansons Fruit Company in Inverness supplies locally sourced fruit and veg to schools across the Highlands—the region that Rhoda Grant represents; McWilliam butchers in Aberdeen supplies meat to schools in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire; Corrie Mains farm in East Ayrshire supplies primary schools with eggs; and Fenton Barns farm in East Lothian supplies 40 per cent of the poultry that is sourced by the national health service.
Many companies are succeeding, and we are doing a lot of work. We do not need any further legislation to do that—we just need to get on with it, and that is what we are doing.