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Scottish food to benefit from public contracts

The Scottish government plans to boost the value of local food and drink being served in public sector settings by making contracts more accessible to small businesses.

Scottish companies in the food and drink sector currently service around 48% of public contracts, including schools and hospitals, a 41% increase compared to 2007 levels.

This week the government held a food industry summit to discuss how Scottish firms could be helped to access more public sector food and drink contracts as part of efforts to support the domestic food and drink sector.

“I want to see more of our schools, hospitals and public sector organisations taking advantage of the high quality food and drink produced in Scotland, so that school pupils, healthcare users and public sectors the length and breadth of Scotland can enjoy it,” said Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing.

“Currently, almost half of our public sector food and drink contracts are awarded to Scottish businesses, however I believe there is enormous untapped potential to do more and use the power of public sector spending to boost our own economy.”

Food and drink is now the single biggest contributor to the Scottish economy, generating a turnover of around £14.4bn a year, and public sector contracts are estimated to be worth around £750m to Scottish food and drink producers.