Councils told to keep local suppliers fed

Councils were today urged to buy more food from local suppliers to give their area an economic boost.

Details obtained under freedom of information shows Scottish councils' food budgets for this financial year total over 58 million.

Edinburgh City Council spent 3.28m but kept no record of how much was bought locally. But East Lothian, which spent 1m, said all its milk, 83 per cent of its meat and 34 per cent of fruit and veg was locally purchased.

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Liberal Democrat deputy rural affairs spokesman Jim Hume said: "Councils should set a good example by purchasing food for schools, care homes and leisure centres from local suppliers.

"Some councils, like East Lothian, are setting good examples. If councils followed the best practice in Scotland, then the benefits for farmers and food producers could be massive."