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Scottish public sector catering 'becoming more localised'

04 | 12 | 12

Catering firms within the Scottish public sector are saving cash and improving their green credentials by making use of increasingly localised procurement procedures, according to a new report.

Figures published last month found that public sector food and drink procurement contracts were worth £150 million between 2009 and 2010, meaning that they represented 48 per cent of total goods purchased by value over the course of the year.

With an emphasis also placed on efficient catering equipment, this move towards localised sourcing ensures that the public sector's green credentials remain strong.

Scottish-based food suppliers represented 77 per cent of the public sector's provider base, as well as just over 50 per cent of the value of expenditure.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the data and called on more of the country's schools, prisons, hospitals and local government organisations to use locally-sourced goods.

"Food and drink is one of Scotland's greatest success stories and is a sector which is continuing to grow, even in the current challenging economic climate", he added.

The country's "natural larder" ensures that its produce is sought both domestically and internationally, making it one of the biggest export markets and adding to Scotland's global reputation, Mr Lochead suggested.

He declared that "the increased figures released today suggest around £20 million of expenditure has been kept in the Scottish economy just by choosing Scottish produce," noting that this helps local businesses as well as improving awareness of healthy and environmentally-sound eating.

Food and drink exports are a major part of the Scottish trading network, hitting a record value of £5.4 billion last year, largely driven by a 23 per cent increase in whisky sales.

Fish and shellfish also enjoyed an export increase of four per cent, with over £648 million of this kind of produce sent to countries around the world.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801500099-ADNFCR

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