Cornwall NHS Food Programme and
local producers brought together with one objective
The provision of high quality food is essential to the well
being of hospital patients and soon all patients in Cornwall
will be able to benefit from local and organic food. With
investment from Objective One and others, the healthcare community
in Cornwall has developed a programme to benefit patients,
sustain the local economy and reduce the harmful impact on
the environment caused by delivery lorries from out of the
A sustainable development manager post has been funded by
the Soil Association to be based at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
Roy Heath, who previously worked in a similar role at the
Eden project, has been employed to make links with local farmers
and food companies in order to get fresh, unprocessed food
into Cornish hospitals and other healthcare outlets and to
ensure that the supply chain for food is sustainable.
There are five healthcare trusts in Cornwall covering 23
The Healthcare community in Cornwall spends approximately
£1.2 million annually on food products and if most of
this money can remain and circulate within Cornwall through
locally sourced produce it will have a significant impact
on the local economy. An estimated 11,700 kg of bacon, 13,300kg
of diced pork, 19,000 cauliflowers, 10,900 beef pasties and
17,000kg of cheddar cheese is used each year. Currently, some
of this is sourced locally, but around 60 per cent comes from
suppliers outside Cornwall.
The use of local produce will also have a positive impact
on the environment as the distance the food has to travel
is dramatically reduced. Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable
Development Commission, the government's independent adviser
said of the Cornish health community's project: "This
work is highly commendable. It is exactly what is needed to
support the local economies, reduce pollution and emissions
from long distance transport, cut down on agrichemicals and
help support healthier diets. The health care community
in Cornwall is also looking towards using more seasonal produce
and adapting menus to suit local produce where available."
Traci Lewis from Organic South West office said: "A
number of organic farmers are interested in being involved
in this exciting new project. We hope that this initiative
will provide long-term contracts for organic farmers in Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly and help the development of organic
food and farming in Cornwall."
Over the past year many small food producers and manufacturers
have received Objective One investment to enable them to improve
quality standards, expand their premises and production levels
and in turn take on large orders such as the NHS. Objective
One Partnership Director, Carleen Kelemen said: "Objective
One investment has allowed small businesses to improve standards
and increase production. Now this supply chain is being consolidated
for large contractors and in turn is strengthening the dairy,
meat, fishing and arable farming communities in Cornwall.
Nearly £14,000,000 of Objective One investment has been
implemented to create a sustainable future for Cornish food
producers and now with the NHS turning to local food, we are
really seeing a positive comeback.
One supplier to the NHS is family-run ice cream company Callestick
Farm. Angela Parker at Callestick said: "Developing the
ice-cream business has been a difficult venture but Objective
One has definitely been a catalyst for its recent success.
The local NHS has helped support the industry a great deal
and is giving small producers the chance to extend and expand."
The NHS project board is also looking ahead to a possible
future apprenticeship scheme linked with local colleges to
develop a skills base within the catering industry.
Project Manager Nathan Harrow has stated that the Healthcare
community currently uses local suppliers for meat, fruit and
vegetables and many dry and frozen products and is keen to
hear from other local food producers in Cornwall who would
be interested in providing for the NHS. If you would like
further information about the programme or would like to be
a supplier, please contact Roy Heath on (01872) 253721 or
The Cornish health community is committed to environmental
sustainability and the principles of local procurement and
The Objective One Programme funded a nine-month feasibility
study to investigate and identify improved ways in which the
Cornwall healthcare community can develop food processing
and meal production that will benefit patients, staff and
visitors at hospitals throughout Cornwall.
The proposal received national recognition as the first to
embrace sustainability. Support has been received from South
West Rural Development Agency, Department for Food, Farming
and Rural Affairs, Government Office for the South West, strategic
health authority, NHS Estates, NHS Purchasing, Department
of Health, Sustain and the Prime Minister's office.
The Government's Sustainable Food initiative was launched
by DEFRA minister Lord Whitty at the Royal Cornwall Hospital
in August 2003.
The next phase will be to build the food production unit
on a site in Camborne.
Funding has been received from:
||NHS - £130,000
||Organic South West Soil Association (for the first year and
hoping to extend by another year) - £50,000
||Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - £50,000
||European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund and Objective
One - £175,000
Organic South West is part funded by the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund and Defra under the Objective
One Programme and is managed as a regional office of the Soil
For further Information:
Organic South West Soil Association
Sustainable Development Manager
Acting Head of Hotel Services and Project Director
Objective One Partnership
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991
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