Prince asks Forces and schools to buy British

By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 28/12/2002)

The Prince of Wales has urged the Armed Forces, schools and hospitals to "Buy British" to support the country's embattled farmers.

In an article for Farmers Weekly, he said it was time for major food purchasers to adopt the tactics of their counterparts in the European Union.

He wrote: "Just imagine the amount of food purchased by our hospitals, Armed Forces, local government, schools and universities. What an impact it would make on the viability of the British farmer if each was to buy 'British' and, preferably, buy 'local'.

"I have been told that EU tendering rules mean that it is impossible to specify the type of food you wish to buy under contracts which are worth over a certain amount.

"However, the University of Wales, of which I am chancellor, has recently completed an excellent piece of work showing that there are perfectly legal mechanisms to avoid this particular problem, which are often employed by many of our European partners."

The Prince polled more than 58 per cent of the votes in the competition to find the Farm Personality of the Year.