Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Foodbuy contract up and running

On July 5, the new Foodbuy contract became operational. This major contract will see Foodbuy, a leading UK-based procurement organisation, purchase food for over 150 NHS Trusts.


The contract was awarded to Foodbuy as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Future Operating Model which sets out a new NHS Supply Chain service that will deliver improved procurement support to the NHS. Under the agreement, Foodbuy will assume responsibility as Category Tower Provider for food for NHS Supply Chain.


Managing Director of Foodbuy, Oliver Cock, explains:  "We want to support the NHS in creating efficiencies and compliance across the estate, which will in turn drive cost savings. Initially, we’ll be buying around £120m worth of food and drink for the NHS which will allow us to buy food more competitively, creating further efficiencies for the NHS. "


Initially, there will be very little change for people ordering food and drink from within the NHS. Between now and July 2019, Foodbuy will tender six frameworks across patient feeding and retail. 


"Ultimately, our objective is to drive value and quality. At the same time, we want to create sustainable, dynamic relationships with our suppliers whilst providing increased engagement with catering managers and nutritionists.


"Currently, the NHS has 20% of food spend being placed centrally with 80% being managed locally. We want to understand why 80% is being managed away from the core NHS Supply Chain and recognise how best we can convert it."


Foodbuy is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, which is both its parent company and its largest client. With purchasing power of over £1bn, Foodbuy has the size and scale to work with suppliers to ensure its clients are getting the best value possible. 


"We’ll bring a more joined up approach to buying for this tower, seeking solutions that meet the needs of the NHS, like healthier, CQUIN compliant retail ranges. Our procurement team is 200 strong which means we can ensure the right product range for the unique and complex needs of NHS Trusts. Many of the challenges that the NHS faces in foodservice are the same ones we have overcome with our other clients so we will bring this external expertise into the NHS."


Foodbuy also promises to deliver greater transparency, about price and quantities, with centrally owned supplier relationships and a dedicated account management team to drive compliance and help ensure all Trusts are purchasing from NHS Supply Chain established frameworks.


This new contract won't be without its challenges, as Oliver Cock acknowledges.  "Driving awareness internally within the NHS is a big challenge for us. We will be working closely with the NHS to focus on communicating with catering managers, chefs and procurement teams. The aim is to increase compliant spend, thereby generating savings for the NHS. For this to happen there is a large piece of awareness and understanding work that needs to take place."