27 February 2008 | Jake Kanter
Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has criticised the government for not doing enough to ensure the NHS buys British food.
The Liberal Democrat spokesman for food and rural affairs said he was "shocked" to find 85 per cent of lamb in the NHS is imported. Williams had asked the health secretary to provide details on how much British meat is bought by the health service.
His criticism echoes similar calls that followed figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last year. They showed that just half of all food bought by the public sector is from the UK (News, 29 November).
"The import figures for farming products are fairly low, but lamb really stands out. With the exception of New Zealand, Wales has the most sheep of any country in the world and the NHS should be doing more to support British farmers," Williams told supplymanagement.com.
In January the MP lead a delegation to China to showcase Welsh lamb. He said there was "real interest" in the product and added: "If China can consider importing lamb from Britain, then surely the NHS can procure it from domestic producers."
The NHS has not responded to supplymanagement.com's request for a comment.