ARCHIVE: Public sector food procurement initiative: Selling to the public sector
“We know that good procurement is sustainable procurement and we will work in tandem with the Government’s Action Plan to strive for a carbon neutral estate by 2012 as we support the UK in meeting its Kyoto targets and tackling climate change.”
John Healey MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury – launch on 5 March 2007 of the Government’s Sustainable Procurement Action Plan "Transforming Government Procurement (PDF 1.5 MB)
Consumers "want value for money: they want quality; they want assurance; and they want to feel good about buying the food they choose. That may be because it is top quality, in season, organically produced, fair trade or because it is locally sourced. These are all opportunities for producers to exploit".
Rt Hon David Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 3 July 2006
to the public sector - a guide to the Public Sector Food Procurement
Initiative for farmers
and growers (PDF 650 KB)
The leaflet explains how farmers and growers can take advantage of opportunities to supply food to the public sector either directly or indirectly via the supply chain of a primary supplier. Includes short case studies showing how small and local producers have worked successfully with the public sector and lists useful sources of further information and advice.
- Model PSFPI specification clauses
This guidance forms annex 1 to appendix 2 of the pre-released Catering Services and Food Procurement Toolkit (PDF 500 KB). Suppliers should find the model clauses useful as they seek to put into practice PSFPI objectives. Many suppliers will not be in a position to tackle all objectives immediately and that is why we have asked public sector bodies to: (1) give priority to the key PSFPI objectives and (2) seek the views of suppliers and other stakeholders on the practicality of the suggested specifications when looking to adopt a more sustainable approach to their procurement.
guide for suppliers wishing to supply the public sector (PDF 1 MB)
Produced by the Government Office for the East Midlands and the East Midland Development Agency to provide advice on marketing to the public sector, HACCP, hygiene, microbiological testing and industry standards etc.
- Supply chain
model for providing local food into schools in west midlands - Report
(PDF 500 KB)
Provides useful information on tendering to a local authority for school meals (including guidelines) and on food procurement and buying processes.
- Sustainable Food Procurement for Contract Caterers and Foodservice Companies - Two User Guides
The two guides are published by Oxford Brookes University and provide simple suggestions on to how to improve sustainable food procurement performance and report on progress, with suggested Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS)
FISS is designed to help those involved in the food and drink industry beyond the farm gate to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and vehicle kilometres and so help to reduce their costs. More funding has been given to the Carbon Trust, Envirowise and Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to assist food manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and food service providers to adopt best practice. Links to these support bodies are given on the PSFPI environmental performance page at: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/envperform.htm FISS is also designed to help the industry provide food choices and information to assist their customers adopt more healthy and balanced diets.
into the feasibility of an online database of farmers and growers
for the public sector food procurement initiative (PDF 250
The study was established to identify the options available for developing an easy to use national on-line database of farmers and growers to enable public sector buyers to find local producers willing and able to supply food either directly or indirectly to the public sector.
- How Government Buys
DEBRR-Business Links web site explaining the opportunities for supplying the public sector including where to find out about contracts, the procurement process, procurement regulations for public sector contracts, the role of e-procurement and resolving public sector tendering problems.
This government-backed on-line service is designed to give companies easy access to lower-value contract opportunities (typically worth under £100,000) offered by the public sector.
- Tenders Electronic Daily (TED)
Resource developed by the European Commission to provide the best available source of information on current European public purchasing. It covers all areas of government spending, namely supply, service, and public works contracts.
- Tendering for Government Contracts - a Guide for Small Businesses PDF (on DTI Small Business Service website)
Smart... think voluntary sector PDF
(on Home Office website)
Home Office and OGC publication to provide all Government departments and NDPBs with best practice guidance on the procurement of services from the voluntary and community sector.
- Euro Info Centres
Part of this organisation’s work is to provide information on all public procurement contracts that are out to tender and for a small fee they will notify subscribers of tenders that come up within parameters told to them, so if a business only wanted red meat tenders that is all they would get.
- Online package to help small businesses sell to the public sector
This online service developed by Small Business Services and hosted by LearnDirect (University for Industry) is designed to help small businesses develop the skills and knowledge needed to win public sector contracts. SBS will market the course via www.Businesslink.gov.uk and the new procurement opportunities portal www.Supply2.gov.uk . Planned launch: 24 April 2007
- Federation of Small Businesses
FSB regional websites have an Events page giving details of events designed to help small businesses prosper including workshops to help them tender for public sector contracts.
Links to the Government Offices for the Regions with several giving details of support for producers, pilot projects to develop the supply side and, eventually, details of tender exercises that are drawn to their attention for public sector contracts.
- Food & Drink
Federation's database of useful websites
Grouped alphabetically and by subject. The site also lists FDF members - many of which supply the public sector.
- NFU – public sector opportunities
The web site provides useful information to farmers and growers seeking to do business with the public sector. Keying on “Public procurement” in the left hand column brings up other items of interest.
- Business Link
This site is provided by the Small Business Service - an agency of the UK Government.
Sources of help and advice for food producers and suppliers
- Business Link
Help and advice on a variety of business needs including services aimed specifically at farmers
- Food Chain Centre
Advice on best practice and benchmarking initiatives
- DTI Manufacturing Advisory Service
MAS services include: direct helpline support through regional centres; free one-day diagonistic visits by a manufacturing specialist; follow up in depth consultancy; and training and workshop activities. MAS has helped a number of small and medium size businesses in the food and drink sub-sector to develop more efficient production processes.
- English Farming and Food Partnerships
EFFP provide practical hands-on advice and services to help farmers minimise costs and maximise the marketing of their produce. They are committed to bringing farming and food business together and developing an increased level of collaboration across the food chain. Their "Share to Farm" programme supports “Share to Supply” designed to help farmers collaborate with others to better satisfy the demand for fresher, healthier, better quality food in schools, hospitals and other public institutions.
- Developing Collaborative Supply Chains
English Farming and Food Partnerships programme to bring businesses in food supply chains together to work more collaboratively and form vertical alliances and improve relationships.
- Natural England
Information on agri-environment schemes.
- SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval)
The scheme is supported by Defra and the Food Standards Agency and is designed to help small food producers to directly supply public institutions like schools, hospitals and prisons and the retail sector. It is a low cost but highly rigorous scheme and membership allows producers and processors to demonstrate their ability to meet the necessary legislative requirements on food safety.
- British Potato Council fact sheet
Gives potato farmers tips on supplying schools, hospitals and other public sector bodies on factors other than price.
Other useful sites
- BRC global standards
British Retail Consortium standards that focus on safety and legality for food, packaging and consumer goods. Suppliers are audited and certified by an approved certification body to one or more of the standards as required.
- Food and Drink Federation
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. FDF promotes the industry's views and works to build consumer confidence in the food chain as a whole.
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
HACCP became a legal requirement for all food businesses on 1 January 2006. To help them the Food Standards Agency has developed and tested a system they call “Safer Food Better Business” that is a completely new approach that is jargon free and user friendly whilst at the same time still complies with the seven Codex HACCP principles and European legislation.
- PSFPI - other useful publications and sources (PDF 200 KB)
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Page last modified: 24 November 2008
Page published: 2 November 2004