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Gildernew meets Robinson to discuss Local Procurement

11 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has met with Finance and Personnel Minister Peter Robinson to discuss local food procurement.

Minister Gildernew had requested the meeting to discuss developments that her department is pursuing in relation to helping to encourage more local agri-food business tenders for public sector contracts.

Speaking after the meeting she said:

"Under Mr Robinson's department, the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) has a key role to play in the drive towards sustainable development by assisting the local public sector to embed sustainable procurement considerations into its spending and investment decisions.

"As Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, this is also a priority issue for me and I want to do what I can to help encourage more agri-food businesses to tender for local contracts. I am keen to explore areas for collaboration between departments and have already met with ministerial colleagues in Education and Health to look at options, such as extending the successful RAFAEL (Renaissance of Atlantic Food Authenticity and Economic Links) project."

The Minister concluded:

"With CPD's work on the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan we have an opportunity to develop procurement policies which have an agreed goal of fairness and which will help to address social issues, benefiting those in greatest need. Additionally the development of guidance on the procurement of food should also deliver substantial benefits for the local economy and I welcomed today's opportunity to discuss these issues with Mr Robinson." ENDS


Under EU legislation, buyers cannot restrict their purchases to specific location or suppliers and therefore the challenge is to work with suppliers to help them compete more successfully.

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