Events Sustainable Food Places

Sourcing local food in public catering and procurement

Webinar Tuesday 11 July 2023 10:00 11:30

The webinar will cover developments in public catering and procurement policy, innovative examples of sourcing local agroecological food, and the role of food partnerships in this context. 

Changes are afoot in every nation. There is an intent to move towards more local and sustainable food in public sector food and catering policy in England following a public consultation on Government Buying Standards in 2022. In Scotland, the Good Food Nation Act requires that relevant authorities must produce their own good food nation plans. In Wales, a supportive framework exists but many barriers still exist in the way of opportunities for local farmers and producers to access public sector contracts.

The webinar provided an update on developments and policy frameworks and looked at innovative examples of sourcing food from local, agroecological farmers and other suppliers in public catering and procurement, and the role of food partnerships in this context. We discussed different approaches for sourcing more local food, common challenges as well as the unique role that food partnerships can have at a local level.

Why sourcing local food? Local food systems allow for a larger proportion of revenues to be retained in the local economy. For every pound of turnover, local food businesses create roughly three times as many jobs as a supermarket. A shift to more localised food systems and a bigger market share for independent local businesses could create 200,000 jobs. For all the potential and benefits to society and nature that more localised food systems could bring us, our food system is extremely concentrated, and few food companies currently dominate the retail and catering sectors.



Chair: Ben Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive

10:00 Welcome and purpose of the webinar

10:05 Panel 1: role of food partnerships in a moving policy landscape

• Agroecological veg for primary schools and Welsh context, Food Sense Wales

• Scottish context, Sarah Gowanlock, Soil Association Scotland

• English context, Ruth Westcott, Sustain

• Q&A

10:45 Panel 2: routes into local sourcing

• Sustainable Food Procurement Hubs in Carmarthenshire and North Powys, Alison Sheffield – Social Farms and Gardens and Bethan Phillips – Open Food Network

• Bringing the Marches dynamic food procurement system to life, Marianne Fisher, Monmouthshire Food Partnership

• Food for Life programme in Bury, David Catterall, Bury Council 

• Q&A (20 min)

11:29 Close

Download presentations 

Download 'Bringing the Marches Dynamic Food Procurement System to Life' executive summary

Published Tuesday 11 July 2023

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