Praise for Scottish procurement

Eight Scottish councils have been nominated for a major award thanks to their sustainable meat sourcing policies.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) nominated the bodies - East Ayrshire, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Highlands and Fife Councils, as well as Tayside Contracts covering Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus Councils - for the sustainability category of the Government Opportunities Scotland Excellence in Public Procurement Awards.

The decision to nominate the councils came following traceability audits of each region, which showed that all the red meat served in public facilities was sourced locally.

Donald Biggar, chairman of QMS, said: "These awards give us the chance to credit the eight councils nominated for the work they have done in ensuring local residents are fed top quality, locally reared red meat. In turn, this supports local farmers and provides a key market for the industry.

"The eight councils highlighted have been leading the way in working with us to ensure sustainability criteria in their food supply contracts.

"I'm pleased to say that all 32 of Scotland's local authorities are now putting sustainability at the heart of their supply policies, up from 27 the year before."

The winner of the sustainability award will be announced at the Procurex Conference on 29th October at SECC, Glasgow. During the ceremony Biggar will speak to delegates about the work many public bodies are doing to improve their red meat sourcing and offer advice to those that have contracts up for renewal.

The public sector is of great importance to the Scottish red meat industry, as procurement of butcher meat in Scotland's public sector is estimated to be worth approximately £6 million per annum.

QMS recently published new guidelines on the sustainable procurement of red meat in the cost sector and many buyers in Scotland are using these to their advantage.