They are pledging that by 2012, or when catering contracts are next up for renewal, sustainability requirements will be included in all contracts.

The Sustainable Food Procurement Commitment will require food to be traceable to its production source.

Livestock and eggs will need to be sourced from suppliers with accredited or certified environmental standards and no endangered fish will be used.

The Greater London Authority Group to sign up to the commitment includes the London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London.

Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes, who leads the GLA group responsible procurement programme, said: “We are determined to ensure that public money is used efficiently but even in challenging economic times, that it is also spent fairly and with maximum benefit to Londoners.

“This means using our purchasing clout to buy goods and services that are ethnically sourced and have minimum impact on the environment and ensure that we generate skilled jobs, apprenticeships and training.”

The Greater London Authority, in partnership the food charity Sustain, currently works with public sector organisations through the Good Food on the Public Plate project to help catering managers to use more sustainable food in a cost-neutral or even cost-beneficial way.

This programme will help take forward the promotion and adoption of the 2012 food standards.

The sustainable food commitment is part of the Mayor’s responsible procurement programme, which has been working with its supply chains to deliver social and environmentally positive practices as well as value for money.

Alison Brown

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie