Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 21-02-2014

Manx produce off the menu

by Joanne Clague

Manx produce off the menu - picture

Chief Minister Allan Bell says ways must be found of supporting local produce rather than buying imports.

Speaking after he confirmed in Tynwald that some care homes have stopped using Manx produced bread and eggs, and that some
schools and the prison have stopped using Manx produced bread, Mr Bell told MTTV: 'Clearly it is not the best situation where government bodies are importing food of that nature.'

But he said the government was not able, under European Union legislation, to give preference to local produce ahead of EU produce.

He said: 'It's an unfortunate situation we are in. It all comes down to the central procurement system. We are looking at changing the way we buy our goods. If you take bread as an example, we have a baker in the Isle of Man that employs over one hundred people, in my constituency, and provides very good quality bread. The only problem will be one of pricing.

'At the same time we have to be sensible. This company does employ a hundred people and these are jobs we have to protect.
We have to find ways of encouraging more local produce to be bought.'

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