Most school food sourced outside Scotland, figures show

Chicken from Thailand, turkey from Brazil and pears from China are among the items served up in school dinner halls across Scotland. STV reports.

Scottish Conservative analysis of data obtained through a freedom of information request found Scotland Excel, the shared national procurement service, spent just 16% of its budget for school food on food sourced in Scotland between July 2017 and June 2018.

The Tories said Scotland Excel spent £42.5m on school food on behalf of councils, meaning it spent £6.7m on school food from Scotland, and £6.4m on school food that is manufactured in Scotland.

They are calling for changes to the way food is procured, to support Scottish food producers and to reduce food miles.

Brian Whittle, Scottish Conservative spokesman for sport and wellbeing, said: “We ask our farmers to produce the highest quality produce; we charge them with custodianship of the countryside; with paying the living wage and with the highest standards of animal welfare.”

“Yet when it comes to public food procurement it is clear that our farmers are not being supported in the way that they should.”

While not all school food is purchased through Scotland Excel, 28 of the 32 local authorities do use the procurement service.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “While it is for local authorities to decide how they buy food that is healthy, nutritious, affordable and to the highest standards, we have been working hard with the Scottish food industry, Scotland Excel, and local authorities, with good progress being made to source locally.”

Read more Most school food sourced outside Scotland, figures show

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