Hospital Food Standards Report highlights importance of sustainable procurement
A report published in August by the UK Hospital Food Standards Panel has underlined the need for all hospitals to have a sustainable procurement plan in place. Developed by a panel comprised of government and NGO representatives, the report recommends five standards which should become required practice across the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
According to the report, hospital food can act as a vehicle for improvement and a role model for food in the local community. As a major purchaser of food and catering services, hospitals can use their influence to improve both impacts of farm production such as biodiversity, animal welfare, seasonality and product traceability and resource efficiency throughout the supply chain, including the energy, water and waste management.
Maya de Souza, head of sustainable public procurement at Defra, said: “Hospitals are major procurers in their local areas and have the potential to shape the way our food is grown, supplied and prepared. This can be done in a way that ensures good stewardship of our agricultural land and natural resources, respect for animal welfare, avoidance of waste and obtaining wider economic and social value such as jobs and training. All this is important to the health and wellbeing of patients and staff.”