London Food Strategy aims for better public procurement

The Mayor of London and London Food Board have today (11 May 2018) published a consultation on the draft London Food Strategy. The Strategy sets that ambition that public institutions achieve the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here award, with the aim of tackling obesity and dietary ill-health in the capital and providing more support to British farmers.

Rob Percival, Policy and Campaigns Manager for Soil Association Food for Life, said:

 We are pleased to see the Mayor calling for better public procurement of food. Food for Life is already working with caterers throughout London to get freshly prepared, high quality meals on the plate, encouraging healthy eating while channelling public money into the pockets of British farmers. The Strategy calls for wider take-up for the scheme, including in leisure centres and visitor attractions - this is a vital step in the battle against childhood obesity and a boon for all Londoners.

“Michael Gove and his colleagues at DEFRA should sit up and take notice. Better public procurement was notably absent from the Government’s ‘Health and Harmony’ consultation, despite its enormous potential to improve diets and support British farmers, particularly those working to high quality and environmental standards such as organic. London is leading by example. Will Mr Gove now step up to the plate and deliver an ambitious national strategy for better public procurement of food?”

The draft London Food Strategy also contains proposals aimed at

  • Helping school leadership teams to adopt whole-school food policies to improve food culture, recognised and structured by working towards a Food for Life Schools Award.
  • Encouraging an increasing proportion of food served in public institutions that meets higher standards such as organic.
  • Prioritising livestock products raised without routine preventative use of antibiotics.
  • Advancing the Sustainable Food Cities approach and network, with the Greater London Authority and London Food Board being a Silver Sustainable Food Cities Award winner in 2017.
  • Banning advertising of junk food and sugary drinks across the Transport for London network.
  • Helping to tackle rising levels of household food insecurity and ensure all Londoners can eat well at home. 
  • Promoting the multiple benefits of food growing for individuals and communities.

The consultation lasts eight weeks until 5 July 2018. The Mayor of London's team would welcome views on the draft strategy. To respond, visit www.london.gov.uk/food and follow the links to the draft London Food Strategy and consultation survey.  Alternatively, send an email to londonfood@london.gov.uk or write to: Draft London Food Strategy, GLA Food Team, PP 19A, City Hall, London SE1 2AA.

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