Sunday, 9 December 2007

Eat British Food.

Gordon Brown may be keen to be seen as “British” but his government is far from patriotic when it comes to buying British food.

On average half of all the food served in public sector organisations is imported. Almost 40 per cent of food stuffs which could be produced in Britain is flown or shipped into the country. The government’s own figures (Source: Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative) showed between July 2006 to June 2007 that 40% of the beef eaten across Government is imported, 60% of all mutton and lamb in Whitehall comes in from abroad and 75% of beans and peas served in the NHS are foreign.

There is a huge gulf between the words of “British” politicians and the reality of what is on their plates. The Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs being the worst offenders. The official Whitehall line on where food comes from is that discriminating in favour of local producers would breach EU law.

Leave aside any talk of "food miles" and the environmental impact of sending basic foodstuffs half way round the world. Can you imagine a French or Spanish Minister of Agriculture tolerating a situation where their military were not fed home produced food? Indeed about the only thing the French or Spanish will be eating that is not home produced will be fish since thanks to Brussels control of our fishing grounds British Fish is now available right across the European Union. Unfortunately very little of this fish is caught by British Fishermen whose livelihoods, like those of many Hartlepool skippers and crews, have been destroyed by the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

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