Next steps outlined for public sector procurement to focus on British produce


Love British Food has released a new report on the benefits of buying British food and drink across the public sector. The launch follows a landmark meeting with public sector stakeholders, held at the Hammonds End Farm in Hertfordshire in March.

The next steps outlined in the report recognise the necessity of a communication strategy to ensure food is a priority at the highest level in NHS Trusts, and a PR campaign targeting the farming media to promote the public sector as a customer for British farming. 

NHS England will also be asked to provide advice to the procurement teams at all NHS Trusts about writing a tender to enable SMEs to apply, using the recent successful example of Somerset NHS Trust’s milk tender.

The key recommendations from this meeting of public sector decision makers are detailed in the report. They include: 

• To increase farmer understanding of the public sector as a customer, and to encourage more farmers to view the public sector as a viable partner 

• A commitment to encourage and maintain progress where it has been made

• Strengthen commitments to buy British in the new Government Buying Standards

• Promote a higher level of understanding of the potential opportunities provided by the Crown Commercial Service buying system, the UK’s largest public procurement organisation

• Encourage foodservice providers to include a ‘Buy British’ category in product listings.

The discussion between the relevant stakeholders will continue through a new Love British Food podcast, with the approach detailed within this report framing future efforts. Love British Food will also continue to lead engagement with two more farm visits already planned for this year and will continue to engage with stakeholders through two industry working groups.

Alexia Robinson, Love British Food Founder says: “In Britain we produce fantastic food. At our landmark meeting with public sector influencers, we gathered invaluable insights that have framed our report.

“Encouraging a Buy British policy within the public sector is not only more sustainable, helping them to meet their targets on net zero, sustainability and social value but it will also give more people access to high quality, locally sourced British food.

“We look forward to continuing to lead engagement within the public sector, with the final ambition of a principle for buyers to look carefully at their supply chains and to make British farmers the first food supplier of choice throughout the entire public sector.”

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