Council aims to support local producers
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed to support local businesses and producers, where possible, throughout Council’s procurement process.
The motion was brought before Council’s monthly meeting by Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Kyle Savage and was seconded by Councillor Sam Nicholson.
It read: “That this Council supports, where possible, our local producers and businesses within the procurement process of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
“This will complement the current ‘SHOP LOCAL’ initiative supported by Council and will provide much needed investment to the Council’s area.
“We would ask that a report on this matter is brought forward urgently with a view to supporting our local economy.”
Addressing the chamber, the Deputy Lord Mayor said as a local farmer he understands the important social and environmental responsibilities council has.
“We as a Council have a responsibility to our producers and our local businesses in our Council area,” said the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Kyle Savage.
“I believe that we have a duty of care to our producers in ensuring that they get a fair share of the profit throughout the food chain.
“We also need full traceability on all foods that is used within Council property and at Council events and consideration must be given to the environmental impact caused by food miles.”
He also called on Council to adopt the shop local initiative and look at how Council’s procurement regulations can be adapted to help support local food producers and businesses.
“Cost is always an issue but we as a Council have to take our environmental responsibilities into account,” said the Deputy Lord Mayor.
“For example, this council is currently buying flowers from outside Northern Ireland but we have a number of large nurseries within our own borough.
“We should also bear in mind that that transport and energy costs are major contributes to green house gas emissions.
“We need to look at the wording of framework for contracts and to be more proactive in encouraging local companies to apply for contracts.
“As a farmer, I can see first hand the pressure that is facing our industry with the Agriculture Bill and the prospect of food imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone beef which are illegal to produce in Northern Ireland.”
The motion was adopted by the Chamber and a report on the issues will be brought forward in due course.
Adam Morton , Local Democracy Reporting Service