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Mark Williams Shocked by Public Procurement figures

2009 Tachwedd 23 4:46 PM

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has expressed his concern after new figures showed supplies of Welsh Milk sold to the public sector have dropped by 22%.

At a meeting with NFU Cymru's Milk Board, Wynfford James, Head of the Welsh Assembly Government's Food, Fisheries and Market Development Department, explained that the total spent on food and drink by the public sector in 2007 was £66.49million.

Mr James went on to explain that his department has identified that there are substantial opportunities for producers of Welsh fruit and vegetables to supply to the public sector but that there had also been a significant drop in fresh Welsh milk supplies - down by 22% since 2005.

Commenting, Mark Williams said:

"Public procurement is an important tool in ensuring that local producers are supported, so it is a real concern to see a drop in the amount of Welsh milk being purchased by the public sector.

"This issue has been widely publicised, and all parts of the public sector should be aware of the importance of public procurement, so it is extremely disappointing that we have gone backwards.

"The Welsh Assembly Government must take heed of these figures, and ensure that Welsh milk is supported by the public sector."