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Mayor of London and GLA Group sign up to 2012 food standards

Greater London Authority group sign up to secure Olympics food legacy to deliver sustainable, healthier food across the capital

NEWS Dec 2010

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced today that extensive sustainability requirements will be included in Greater London Authority Group catering contracts. This commitment is the first of its type across such a large UK organisation, and demonstrates how organisations procure their food can have large positive impacts: from 2012, GLA group staff and visitors will eat healthier, and see more environmentally sustainable food produced to higher welfare standards.


The GLA group wants to lead by example so that other large organisations across London make sustainable food procurement a top priority.

The Sustainable Food Procurement Commitment includes:

  • Food standards that require that all food is traceable to its production source, using the Red Tractor scheme at minimum for farm produce, Livestock products will be produced to higher welfare and environmental standards, promoting accredited or certified produce that are recognisable to the consumer
  • Free range eggs to be purchased and a proportion of chicken and pork products to be RSPCA Freedom Food certified or equivalent
  • No endangered fish, as certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, shall be used, and sources will be demonstrably sustainable including certification as Fish to Eat by the Marine Conservation Society
  • All coffee, tea, bananas, sugar and a wide range of chocolates will be Fair Trade
  • The faiths and diverse communities of the capital will be taken into account at each catering site


By insisting on higher food standards, London's public sector food purchasing has the collective clout to influence farming, production and catering standards. Members of the Greater London Authority Group are the first to sign up to the commitment - this includes London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London - all pledging that by 2012, or when catering contracts are next up for renewal, sustainability requirements will be included in all contracts. This will be achieved without any extra overall costs.

Richard Barnes, Deputy Mayor, who leads the GLA group responsible procurement programme, said: 'We are determined to ensure that public money is used efficiently but even in challenging economic times, that it is also spent fairly and with maximum benefit to Londoners. This means using our purchasing clout to buy goods and services that are ethnically sourced and have minimum impact on the environment and ensure that we generate skilled jobs, apprenticeships and training.”

Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food who advised LOCOG on the development of its Games food standards, said: “Sustainable food is good, it’s safe, healthy, and profitable. It is also enjoyable and accessible to all, and promotes the best farming and production practices.

“Our food system needs to become less dependent on excessive use of natural resources, especially energy and water, and must play its part in significantly reducing greenhouse gasses. It must also support good jobs, in diverse and economically viable food and farming sectors.

“I believe that it is our responsibility to support this through our contracts to create a healthy and sustainable food future.”

The Greater London Authority, in partnership the food charity Sustain, currently works with public sector organisations through the Good Food on the Public Plate project to help catering managers to use more sustainable food in a cost-neutral or even cost-beneficial way. This programme will help take forward the promotion and adoption of the 2012 food standards.

For a copy of the commitment, email the Mayor’s Press Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it