News (Yorkshire Post 18th December) that Sheffield Teaching Hospital Trust (STH) sources just 50% of its food from the UK is very disappointing. It is a large hospital, and its patients and staff come from across both urban and rural parts of the region.
Improving the health of the people it serves is the core purpose of a public health system. There is a relatively straightforward link between poverty and illness, (particularly prevalent among financially struggling small famers) which the Health Authority ought to understand.
Local produce is as fresh as food can be, and both patients and staff would expect no less. A policy of buying only local produce, (as Chesterfield Health Trust do, obtaining all of its food from farms within 50 miles), would improve the health of the patients and staff. The policy would bolster the agricultural economy of the region, and go some way to reaching the challenging NHS carbon reduction target.
It is to be hoped that the new Sustainable Development Manager, who joins the STH Trust in January, will address this illogical policy.
Cllr Bernard Little. Sheffield Green Party.