14 July 2014

Better food standards

Brighton & Hove city council is the first in the country to introduce more stringent rules on food buying standards for all catering contracts over £75,000. The standards set are the equivalent to the Soil Associations Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark. A set of minimum buying standards for all smaller contracts is to be introduced as well.

The minimum standards have been approved (Friday 11th July) at Policy and Resources committee. It means any contract over £75,000 is subject to the new rules and will affect six big contracts across the council.
Cllr Ollie Sykes said: “We are leading the way in developing a sustainable approach to large food contracts. I’m incredibly pleased that this means services within the council who buy large amounts of food will now be doing so from local suppliers, supporting the local economy and providing food which is much healthier and free from additives which are so harmful to health”.

Vic Borrill, Director Brighton & Hove Food Partnership said; “Food purchasing standards don't sound very tasty but they are! The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is delighted the Council have taken this decision which will improve thousands of meals served each year.  We have been campaigning for all public services to adopt food buying policies and hope this announcement will encourage other organisations to do the same;  we’re on hand to help if other city caterers want to do something similar.”

The move supports the work already started with Spade to Spoon: Digging deeper: a food strategy and action plan which seeks to reduce food poverty, support local business and reduce the environmental impact of the food we consume.

The minimum buying standards are available here

Committee papers here

Editor’s notes

The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is a non-profit, membership organisation. We are a hub for information, inspiration and connection around food – including growing, cooking and eating. We deliver a range of community projects such as:

Cookery courses for beginners and those looking to teach others
Helping people start new community gardens
Tips and advice on reducing food waste at home
Setting up community composting sites across the city
Healthy eating advice and workshops
Advice on food poverty and support for food banks
Weight management programmes for adults and families. 

www.bhfood.org.uk  @harvestbh