All flour bought by government departments will soon have to conform to British farming and manufacturing standards. Under a new government plan, flour used in hospitals, schools and prisons will have to meet production standards such as the Red Tractor scheme or LEAF Marque scheme.

The commitment applies to government departments procuring commodities such as flour rather than processed products like bread and cakes. A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said that although the move would boost British farmers, it was not a ‘buy British’ campaign, which would contravene European Union regulations.

She said: “The government is committed to ensuring that food procured by government departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meets British standards of production wherever this can be achieved, without increasing overall costs. We know that some departments are already buying a high proportion of food that meets British standards of production and therefore it should be possible for others to do the same.”

Assured Food Standards, which licences the Red Tractor logo, noted many bread producers were now using 100% British flour, including Hovis and Sainsbury’s own-label bread.