Few SME producers in the UK supply public procurement contracts. The National Food Strategy states: “public food procurement is dominated by a small number of larger suppliers … there is little incentive for innovation and improvement.”
A DPS offers producers and suppliers (which meet basic entry criteria) the opportunity to sell directly to the public plate. Public sector organisations gain access to seasonally varied food from regional producers and suppliers. Yet understanding local supply’s potential to meet local procurement demand remains challenging.
Alongside activities led by the South West Food Hub and following on from ROBUST, this project explored:
- The capacity of Gloucestershire’s local food supply base.
- The size of Gloucestershire’s public procurement market.
- The structures needed to successfully deploy a DPS at regional level and develop opportunities for innovation.