Government Catering Service is holding a ‘Manx Produce Week’ at Noble’s Hospital from 14 to 18 July, demonstrating the volume and quality of locally sourced ingredients used in everyday food production at the hospital for patients, staff and visitors.
The annual event, now in its eighth year, is likely to widen in scope in the years ahead following the recent creation of the new Government Catering Service. The new service, which is just one element of the Council of Ministers’ programme to moderniseministerial government, came into effect in April this year.The shared service was launched to provide flexible and consolidated food procurement and production across the public sectorunder the leadership of the Department of Health and Social Care.
Government Catering Service now supplies meals and snacks to a wide range of Governmentlocations, including to patients, staff and visitors in healthcare settings such as Noble’s Hospital, all pupils of the Island’s primary and secondary schools, staff and visitors to Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education and at the National Sports Centre café in Douglas.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Howard Quayle MHK, said: “Value for money for the taxpayer is important and has to be considered in Government’s catering operations. But of equal importance is ensuring sustainability through supporting the Island’s local food producers and wider economy.
“Manx Produce Week, which is again being hosted in the Noble’s Hospital staff restaurant Thie Bee, highlights Government’s continued support for local food producers and demonstrates Government’s commitment to provide patients, staff and the public with nutritious high quality meals and snacks. Good nutrition is essential for good health and wellbeing – especially for recovery after illness.
“The introduction of the new Government Catering Serviceearlier this year came during a period of significant change for the Department which can be unsettling. Despite this,staff have risen to the challenge and are embracing the opportunities this new service brings, for which I commend them. My thanks also goto local suppliers for their ongoing partnership. They have made thetransition period as smooth as possible and many have cometogether at this showcase event to help make our Manx Produce Week a success.”
The main suppliers of local produce are Robinson’s, Harrison & Garrett, the Isle of Man Creamery and Ramsey Bakery, all of which will be holding displays and tastings, with information about their range of products and service.
Andy Pennington, Catering Purchasing Supervisor, said: “This year two other suppliers were invited to promote their products. Although not a current supplier we are working together with Green Mann Spring Water looking at using their product in some Thie Bee outlets. Davison’s Ice Cream is offered as a menu choice to patients at Noble’s Hospital as well as for pupils at school. My thanks go to the catering staff across the new service for making this event a success. The proceeds from the raffles and produce sales, including a cake stall, will be donated to the staff’s chosen charity, Manx Breast Cancer Support Group.”