School Food Trust survives bonfire of quangos

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: School food trust

School Food Trust survives bonfire of quangos
The School Food Trust (SFT) has emerged relatively unscathed from the coalition government’s bonfire of the quangos.

The Trust,​ which is an independent, non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Education, was named by the Tories last year in a long list of quangos under review.

Unlike other educational quangos on the list including Becta, the agency which promotes the use of technology in schools, the SFT will continue to receive government funding, albeit at a reduced level.

SFT bosses have been asked to save £1m this year – reducing the budget from £8.65m to £7.65m - an 11.6% drop.

Chief executive Judy Hargadon told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “In a nutshell, we have been asked to save £1m from funding allocated to the Trust for the specific purpose of supporting the promotion of healthy school food at local level.”

She added: “We are absolutely committed to making our contribution to the savings needed right across the public sector, just as many others will do in the coming months.

“We will now be working with the Department for Education to develop the detail of how these savings will be made. The reductions in spending may come from delaying some pieces of work, reducing costs on others and cancelling some projects we had planned but not yet started.”

No news on the FSA

However, the food industry is still waiting to hear what will happen to the Food Standards Agency​.

In its green paper on health last year, the Conservatives said that under a Tory administration, the role and remit of the FSA would be scaled back: "We will put parts of the FSA which are responsible for the nutritional content of food ... into the Department of Public Health."

However, The Department of Health told FoodManufacture.co.uk last week it was "far too early" t​o talk about the timetable for, or detail of, the above plan, while the FSA said it had not received any formal communication from the new government on this topic and was conducting “business as usual”​ until it heard otherwise.

Related topics: Chilled foods, People & Skills

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