Thousands of meals served every day in schools, hospitals, universities and colleges in Wales will include only verifiably sustainable fish, thanks to a pledge by the National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales. It is the first time that a country-wide purchasing organisation for public sector buying has committed to protecting our precious fish stocks by serving only sustainable fish.
NPS manages food purchasing on behalf of local authorities, hospitals, universities, colleges, blue light services and Welsh Government.
NPS was set up to ensure that public sector organisations across Wales get the best value for money for the products they require across our public services, by purchasing once for Wales. Sue Moffatt, Commercial Director Welsh Government and Director National Procurement Service, said ‘Our core aim is ensure that the food we purchase for our public sector organisations in Wales is of great quality, is safe and legal, sustainable and value for money. Wales is blessed with a large number of high quality Welsh producers who we are keen to work with and develop as our new food contracts go live. It is important that we create sustainable supply chains across all areas of food to ensure that the people of Wales have as wide a range of food available to them both now and in the future. By signing up to the Sustainable Fish Cities Pledge, it is a big step towards tackling this crucial environmental issue, whilst still offering the people of Wales a plentiful supply of sustainable Fish.’
The Sustainable Fish Cities pledge means that all new NPS food contracts will work towards the sourcing of sustainable fish. Over time, sustainable fish will become a requirement for all fish purchased by the NPS. It is the largest commitment yet in a campaign to create Sustainable Fish Cities, in which food-serving organisations and people make a concerted effort to help our oceans by serving and supporting sustainable fish. The project was initiated by Food Cardiff, an award winning partnership that includes Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Public Health Wales, which aims to give everyone access to healthy, sustainable and affordable food.
The pledge has been welcomed as one of the first major examples of the Well-being of Future Generations Act being put into practice. The pledge will ensure that the fish bought by public bodies supports the protection of our precious marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of fisher people and their communities.
Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, said ‘The Well-being of Future Generations Act set out clear plans for putting long-term sustainability at the heart of Cabinet decision making. Using our purchasing power to support a sustainable future for our oceans is a hugely important step – it will encourage and reward lower-impact fishing methods, and help to ensure that future generations can enjoy the benefits of eating fish.’