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Government serves up a fresh approach to food

Food safety in Wales has been given a boost with the launch of new food-buying guidance by the Welsh Assembly Government.

The Minister for Business and Budget, Jane Hutt, has announced a new food procurement framework of guidance.

The launch took place during a visit to Frank's Ice-cream in Ammanford, suppliers of ice-cream to schools and hospitals around the country. They are holders of the 'Britain's Best Ice Cream 2009' award, and they also scooped the FSA Gold Food Safety Award.

Produced by the Assembly Government's Value Wales division, this guidance aims to ensure that safe food is served on the public plate.

The framework consists of three elements:

  • a new web-based Food Procurement Route Planner (PRP) which guides food buyers and caterers through the whole procurement process
  • food procurement training courses which have been well attended around Wales
  • and bringing all this good work together - 'Buying Safe Food for the Public Plate: A New Approach to Food Procurement for Wales' which lays out what is expected of public sector organisations and food suppliers to ensure food procurement is carried out to the highest standard and in line with best practice

Jane Hutt said:

"With the public sector in Wales spending £67m on food each year, the Welsh Assembly Government recognises food safety and hygiene practices of organisations and businesses are of critical importance. "Organisations and food suppliers alike must ensure the purchase and supply of food is carried out to the highest standards. To drive this, the Assembly Government's Value Wales division and the all-Wales Food Group, have worked hard on developing this new approach which sets out our collective aspirations on how food procurement should be carried out."

 

Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones said:

"The Welsh Assembly Government and Value Wales are working closely together to ensure that people in Wales have continual access to nutritious, safe and affordable food. "Local sourcing of food and drink is an Assembly Government priority as set out in 'One Wales' and the Local Sourcing Action Plan. There are so many benefits to buying local. Not only do we have a range of high quality local produce, but consumers can also trace where their food comes from and seek reassurance on production methods and animal welfare."

 

The 'framework' has been endorsed by the Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and is easily accessible on the new Food Procurement Route Planner on the Buy4Wales website.

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