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The Public Procurement Plan

The Public Procurement Plan


From 2017, central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced, seasonal food, through a new, simplified food and drink buying standard. £400 million of potential new business for the British food industry was announced on the 21st July 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, as part of the government's long-term economic plan to back British businesses.

This will be done through a new, simplified food and drink buying standard, The Plan for Public Procurement.

The plan sets what standards the public sector and suppliers are encouraged to follow when buying food and catering services.

It proposes a new but voluntary approach, involving use of a balanced scorecard and an e-marketplace, to improve food procurement in the public sector.

The plan focuses on:

  • provision of ‘toolkit’ a which enables food procurers to consider a variety of factors when making decisions about procurement
  • working together with industry, procurers, researchers and farmers to support opportunities for British grown produce and food within the public procurement market
  • ongoing work to develop the toolkit through five different working groups covering procurers, suppliers, research and technology bodies (focusing on innovation), assurance schemes and Local Enterprise Partnerships

Click here to download the Plan for Public Procurement.

The Plan: toolkit

This toolkit brings together the relevant documents and information, which include:

  • revisions to the mandatory Government Buying Standards for food and catering
  • a new ‘balanced scorecard’ tool to help public sector buyers and their suppliers understand and apply the Government Buying Standards
  • a new on-line procurement portal to help put public sector buyers and potential food and catering suppliers in touch with each other
  • case studies to demonstrate how buyers and food suppliers can work together to procure food efficiently and sustainably (more will be added as the Plan is put into practice)

-Manchester Rusk Company Ltd

-Simpsons Ready Foods, Trafford - SME (Food & Drink, Manufacturing)

-Cleanbake Ltd, Skelmersdale - SME (Food & Drink)

-Mawsons of Bailey Ground, Seascale, Cumbria - SME (Tourism / Food & Drink)

-Durham university: Leading the way in sustainable food procurement

  • access to centralised contracts consistent with the principles of the Plan: the Crown Commercial Service is putting in place framework contracts for facilities management, including catering services, which are consistent with the Government Buying Standards and promote the use of the balanced scorecard, and putting in place a purchasing system for food and catering services which allows smaller suppliers to register for government contracts and provides for the balanced scorecard to be used to select companies

Click here to download The Plan: toolkit

The Balanced Scorecard

This balanced scorecard sets out what criteria the public sector is encouraged to consider when buying food and catering services. It puts forward a methodology for balancing key considerations against cost, whilst securing minimum standards. These include:

  • sustainability in production
  • health and nutrition
  • resource efficiency
  • social – economic value
  • quality of service

This enables the most economically advantageous tender in terms of value for money in its full sense to be selected.

The balanced scorecard makes the process of tendering contracts clearer. Its use across the public sector will benefit a range of businesses trying to gain access to government contracts. It will reward those that outperform others in respect of the key considerations, thereby rewarding improvement and innovation.

Click here to download the Balanced Scorecard document.