Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron has backed Farmers Weekly's campaign to get more UK food into our hospitals.
Mr Farron, who is also MP for the South Lakes, said he would lobby the government to back UK farmers. This would include lobbying DEFRA and Department for Health ministers to get more British food in hospitals. Buying British made economic and environmental sense, he said.
"The NHS has been omitted from government buying standards, which stipulate that food bought for government departments meets certain quality criteria. We need to back UK farmers and produce, so I am delighted to support this campaign."
Currently the NHS spends £500m on food and only half of that food is sourced in the UK. The Get Better, Get British campaign contacted more than 200 hospital trusts across the UK and put questions to them under the Freedom Of Information Act.
The picture that emerged was of a patchy approach to hospital food, with purchasing varying widely from area to area. Two-thirds of hospitals said they did not know where their food was sourced. It also emerged that about 40% of food served to patients was imported.
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