Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

North East healthy eating co-ordinator appointed

Healthy eating and a healthier economy could be on the menu with the creation of a new post of Food Procurement Coordinator for North East England. The newly appointed Coordinator, Bill Kirkup, will encourage public sector caterers to increase the proportion of local fresh food they use. He will also work with suppliers to help them overcome any difficulties in terms of supply and delivery.The public sector, which includes schools, local authorities, hospitals, prisons and other government organisations and agencies, spends £1.8 billion on food and catering services, with around £150m being spent in the North East alone. Mr Kirkup, 41, of Shotley Bridge, has a wealth of experience in public procurement and headed a five-year project - North East Land Links (NELL), funded by the Countryside Agency, which produced a comprehensive report on local food procurement in the region. Mr Kirkup said: “NELL has already carried out a lot of research and developed links between Government departments, local authorities, schools and hospitals. “I’ll be aiming to take this work forward, encouraging public sector buyers and caterers to take a good look at the way they currently do things and work with us to bring about improvements in sustainable purchasing. “It’s very much about partnership. I’ll be hoping to bring together the different groups from buyers to food producers, to develop agreed criteria that will raise standards and enable local producers to bid for contracts successfully, with mutual benefits for all.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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