Welsh hospitals get local beef

PATIENTS AND staff at almost every Welsh hospital will be eating Welsh beef following an agreement on the second stage of a supply deal worth £750,000 a year.

In January Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) negotiated arrangements with Welsh Health Suppliers, the central contracting and materials management provider, and the catering managers of NHS trusts in north Wales for the procurement of locally produced beef.

Now this has been extended to most of mid and south Wales, though discussions are continuing with Cardiff and Vale NHS Trusts, which have their own supply arrangements.

Carwyn Jones, the Welsh Assembly’s rural affairs minister, said the deal was great news for the Welsh food industry, the environment, and patients and staff.

“One of our top priorities is to encourage hospitals and schools to purchase more Welsh produce, and to this end we have set up a unit dedicated to encouraging businesses to sell to the public sector,” Mr Jones insisted.

“The benefits are numerous. Reducing food miles cuts carbon emissions and is one way we can tackle the global issue of climate change.”

“Farmers in Wales benefit from securing good contracts with the public sector, and our patients are served high-quality meat,” Mr Jones said.

June Scott, Welsh Health Suppliers’ contract manager, said the launch in north Wales had been a huge success, and she was delighted to see the deal rolled out elsewhere.

“We are committed to the Assembly’s sustainable development agenda and this project will make a significant contribution to the local economy, whilst at the same time providing a high quality nutritious product,” Ms Scott said.