Stoke-on-Trent MP Joan Walley is visiting Staffordshire University on Monday – in her bid to get public sector organisations to serve up fresh and healthy food.
Her private members bill – Public Sector (Sustainable Food) – gets its second reading in Parliament on Friday November 14 and Joan is campaigning hard in her North Staffordshire consitituency and nationally to hit the message home.
Joan will visit Staffordshire University’s Stoke campus on Monday where a number of speakers – including the University’s head of catering – will run through the benefits to be gained from serving fresh, sustainable and locally sourced food.
“Food served within public institutions is often bad for our health, damaging to the environment, and unethically sourced,” said Joan. “This Bill seeks to change this, bringing in legal nutritional, environmental and ethical standards which the public sector would have to meet. These standards would affect hospitals, schools, the armed forces, care homes and all other public institutions.
“I am aware that the University is already taking seriously the issues raised and so it seems like the natural venue for a discussion on how such changes will impact on an area like Stoke on-Trent.”
Head of Staffordshire University’s Catering, Charles Manners said: “We are very supportive of what Joan is doing providing this leads to a sensible, supportive and commercially viable arrangement.
“Staffordshire University is already on this journey. We are now registered with Red Tractor*, are using free range eggs, are stockists of Fair Trade produce and host a weekly fruit and veg stall on our main campuses.”
The University event will discuss how the Bill, backed by leading groups including Friends of the Earth, Compassion in World Farming and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, will impact on the local area.
Joan said: “This Bill addresses some highly important issues – diet-related ill health, animal cruelty and climate change – which affect Stoke-on-Trent just as much as the wider community. It also has the added benefit of helping our local ceramics companies as good food should be served off proper ceramic crockery. It is about time that the public sector helped in efforts to be part of the solution rather than the problem.”
The event takes place in Staffordshire University’s Ashley Building, Leek Road from 12.30pm and anyone wanting to attend should contact Sally Liggins on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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