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Ministers meet to discuss local food procurement

26 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has today met with the Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitriona Ruane and Health Minister Michael McGimpsey to discuss the possibility of increasing the volume of locally produced and processed foods that are offered through our public sector catering facilities.

The Ministers agreed that increasing the amount of local food procured by the public sector would integrate sustainability into current procurement practices whilst potentially improving efficiencies to realise savings that could be ploughed back into improving service delivery.

Following the meeting the Agriculture Minister said:

"The benefit to our economy and environment would be substantial in terms of sustaining our agricultural base and reducing food miles as well as providing supply opportunities for both our small speciality producers and large-scale commodity processors."

"Today's meeting has provided us with food for thought and we have agreed to investigate the mechanics of collaboration between our departments in terms of food procurement tendering and to ensure local food processors are aware of and more competitive once tenders are released." ENDS

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