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Public Procurers

Public Procurers

The NHS, schools and Government departments including the Cabinet Office, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Transport, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Treasury have all risen to the challenge and put British food on their menus during the Fortnight.

The menus have included classic British dishes such as toad-in-the-hole and steak and kidney pie and a range of British sandwiches all made with British ingredients. Employees at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport were served sticky toffee English apples as a special treat!

The young have not been left out! Children's wards in many NHS hospitals received a free delivery of English apples from the Total Produce Group; patients in maternity and children's wards of hospitals in the North East were offered award-winning fruit yoghurts from Embleton Hall, County Durham; and pupils in schools in Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Essex, Telford & Wrekin, and East London were served all British menus and encouraged to think about where the food they eat comes from by their council's catering teams.

Working with Schools – your customers of the future

In addition to the commercial reasons for taking part in British Food Fortnight, we invite you to use the national celebration as an opportunity to be proactive in educating young people about British food.

Schools must now incorporate cookery and food-related topics into their curriculum and are advised to seek help from local caterers and chefs to achieve this. So, chances are, there is a school waiting to hear from YOU!

Many organisations organise activities for schools every year during British Food Fortnight. Here are tips for working with schools based on their experiences, and some examples of what some retailers have achieved.


  • Give a cooking demonstration or lesson in your local school: seek ideas from the many examples of how chefs have worked with schools in our document ‘Advice for Cooks & Chefs: Things to consider when working in schools’ for tips on facilities, dishes to teach, planning and giving the session. The document can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
  • Offer your kitchen facilities to your local school as a venue for a cooking lesson: many pubs, restaurants and hotels host successful school visits so don’t be afraid of inviting children into your kitchen! If you are worried about letting children loose in your kitchen, host a cooking demonstration rather than a lesson.
  • Ask your regular suppliers to donate ingredients for the cooking session: this is a good way for your suppliers to share in the publicity you will receive.

Sourcing British food

Sourcing products that are part of assurance schemes is a powerful way of demonstrating that you are serving quality produce and that it is fully traceable to the producer. British Food Fortnight is an opportunity to find new suppliers, source more sustainably and receive publicity for doing so.

Some food types and regional food and drink products are part of additional schemes and these are explained on the pages for each specific food:

Some pointers towards sourcing locally are:

  • Contact your existing suppliers to see whether the produce they currently supply you with is British.
  • Send current and new suppliers a copy of the menu you would like them to supply British food for and invite them to pitch for the business.
  • Don’t be put off by prices that initially may seem higher. Buying large volumes can make the whole process affordable.
  • Consider forming a partnership with other public organisations to aggregate demand and make savings through bulk purchase.
  • Larger suppliers can still provide local produce: be specific when talking to them about what you want and don’t shy away from specifying local products as part of your requirements.
  • Involve your client in the sourcing process. If they are concerned about increased costs explain that healthy eating is a hot topic at the moment and their employees/customers will expect them to respond to this. Good food is a corporate benefit!
  • Talk to your suppliers to overcome difficulties that may arise if you are a large caterer trying to work with small suppliers. For example, the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has a purchasing model that enables six Peak District farms to supply meat to one butcher who in turn supplies seven youth hostels in the area.
  • Make sure that the relevant internal structures are in place. Nottingham City Hospital started to source milk from a local dairy. The relationship with the dairy itself worked very well but ensuring that the milk was distributed to the different hospital sites required some internal adjustments.
  • If fragmented supply is a problem, encourage producers to form a co-operative that better meets your needs.
  • Consider forming a partnership with other public organisations to aggregate demand and make savings through bulk purchase.
  • Set up a customer group involving the catering team, suppliers and your clients so that expectations are managed on both sides and problems can be easily resolved.
  • Buy in-season products that are often available at competitive prices in order to achieve value for money.

Who has taken part?

The Hospital Sector


Love British Food and the Hospital Caterers Association are working with The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne and The University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) to put British food on the menus for British Food Fortnight.

Morecambe Bay will be carrying out the following activities across the Trust, which encompasses Furness General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General.

The trust employs approximately 5,000 staff and serves a population of around 363,000. In the last financial year 2015 /16 the Trust served food to 778,938 to inpatients and as well as this they deliver 50-60 meals Monday - Friday to discharged patients in the community, which are delivered by volunteers.

    • Working with local suppliers to bring Afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches to our patients using British Products Organising theme days for both patients and our staff, and not forgetting clients in the community
    • Running menus for our patients and restaurants using only British Products
    • Bringing suppliers on site to do some cooking demonstration within the restaurants
    • Promote what is sold as British products / taste testing for our service users
    • Promote seasonal products through restaurants and patient menus
    • Encourage services users to buy more British foods – have a stand within our restaurants and main entrances to encourage

Freeman Hospital is part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust one of two large hospitals. A traditional cooking hospital which as the Food4Life "Silver Award" so this year supporting Love British Food as the hospital purchases 'British produce' throughout the year.

The Trust employs over 14,000 staff across both sites and in the community within the Newcastle area. They served 778,927 patient meals last year three times a day over 365 days a week. The ktichen supports a very busy staff & visitor restaurant where over 341,000 transactions were made last year on the tills and a very busy function service.

    • Work closely with all the supplier throughout the year making sure the hospital uses as much British products at all times when available
    • Run menus for both patient and staff using British products
    • Looking towards changing function menus to incorporate only British products
    • Daily "Chefs Special" - with cooks getting involved and producing recipes using locally sourced British Meat and Seasonal British Vegetables. Classics such as Chicken & Mushroom Pie, Beef Lasagne and British Roast Meats on a Sunday all feature.

Previous successes in the hospital sector include Nottingham City Hospital who improved staff moral and patient satisfaction at no cost by sourcing locally and Royal Brompton Hospital who increased uptake in the staff restaurant by 12%.


The Education Sector

Cucina Restaurants will be running initiatives at 44 secondary schools in the South East. They will be organising competitions where children submit their own British recipes with winning entries are cooked for the school, an after-school programme for students, staff and parents educating on seasonal British ingredients, plus a special ‘Great British Classics’ menu during September, with dishes developed by Masterchef the Professionals winner and Cucina Development Chef, Ash Mair.


Other examples


Great Ormond Street Hospital joined in promoting Love British Food to patients. The hospital decorated its wards in red, white and blue for the patriotic celebrations!

The Hospital Caterers Association joined forces with British Food Fortnight in 2014 to produce a document - Advice on Taking Park in British food and harvest activities. It is downloadable on the right hand side of this page

The Royal Brompton Hospital on Sydney Street, London is passionate about seasonal, local British food and takes part in British Food Fortnight every year with menus incorporating British ingredients for patients, staff and visitors. The Royal Brompton Hospital uses the same supplier for vegetables as Clarence House and their sandwich supplier serves Buckingham Palace. All eggs are free range, all milk is organic, and all bacon and sausages are from an Essex Farm.

“British Food Fortnight increases the enjoyment of tasting different foods and increases the income in the staff restaurant by 12%.”Mike Duckett, Catering Services Manager, the Royal Brompton Hospital.

The Cabinet Office regularly takes part switching all their dishes to British e.g. English bacon not Dutch for British Food Fortnight.

The British Army is another regular participant. They have organised an inter-services field cooking competition during the event; sent chefs into local schools to teach them how to cook; invited pupils to magnificent regimental feasts to mark the national food promotion; and one year held a special curry night York's Guildhall where the 246 Queens Gurkha Signal Squadron from Nepal, who are stationed at Impham Barracks near York, prepared an authentic Nepalese Gurkha Curry with all the trimmings using local ingredients of course!

Staff and visitors to Blackpool Victoria Hospital's restaurant, Oliver's, and other food areas on the hospital site took advantage of the excellent British food and drink available by offering a special British dish each day throughout British Food Fortnight.

Nottingham City Hospital created 5 dishes to put on sale for British Food Fortnight. Staff and patients got to try dishes like beef in red wine sauce, and lamb pasties. All the meals were taken from a recipe book by Keith Floyd, who was famed for his commitment to fresh British ingredients.

Kent and Sussex Hospital decorated the whole canteen with British Food Fortnight posters and highlight a traditional English meat/dish each day.

Download the PDF: Advice for Cooks & Chefs on working with Schools