ALMOST HALF the food and drink served up by Scotlands public sector organisations is now Scottish, according to figures just published on the 2009/10 financial year.
Public sector food and drink procurement contracts were worth £150 million in 2009/10, with Scottish products representing 48% of all food and drink purchases by value.
The figures also show that in 2009/10 Scottish-based suppliers represented 77% of the public sectors supplier base and accounted for just over 50% of the volume of expenditure.
However, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead wants schools, hospitals, councils, prisons and government organisations to use even more Scottish produce. Speaking at a business briefing organised by contract catering provider Compass Lochhead said the public sector has a role to play in increasing the popularity of Scottish food, both at home and abroad.
Its great to see the amount of Scottish food and drink being served up in our schools, hospitals and by other government bodies is increasing up from 34 to 48%. The increased figures suggest around £20 million of expenditure has been kept in the Scottish economy just by choosing Scottish produce.
I would urge everyone involved in sourcing food for our public sector to look carefully at Scotlands fantastic larder and the incredible variety on offer. With a wealth of fine produce on our doorstep, nobody should have to settle for second best.