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About the project

Good Food on the Public Plate (GFPP) provided a wide range of assistance to a diverse cross-section of London’s public sector organisations including local authorities, hospitals, universities and care homes, to enable them to use more sustainable food in their catering. The project was fully funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA), allowing us to provide our services free of charge.

We provided assistance both to individuals and, where appropriate, to clusters of organisations, either geographical or sectoral, to work on collaborative procurement by:

  • Auditing food purchasing
  • Brokering supply chain links
  • Advising on contract specifications
  • Advising on purchasing
  • Offering guidance on sustainable food procurement policies
  • Providing networking opportunities
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Identifying new suppliers of sustainable food

In the final year of the project, ending in March 2012, we helped the ‘London Cluster’ buying consortium to prepare new tenders for grocery and frozen collaborative contracts, due to be let later in 2012.  The contracts are each be worth approximately £4m per year and have a range of sustainability requirements, including sustainable fish, free range eggs and fairly traded beverages.  We also advised on a funding bid to the GLA for a Food Procurement Officer post at the London Borough of Havering which will continue to develop similar collaborative procurement arrangements.

By the end of the year, we helped at least nine organisations improve the quality of food supplied by their contract caterers, including many London universities and colleges.  In addition, we have helped the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Westminster School Academy to develop policies to improve their food services.  Following our input into People and Planet’s Green League, many universities across the UK have now also adopted sustainable food policies.

Encouraging public sector organisations to incorporate sustainability standards for fish has been an important focus.  Complementing the fish sustainability standards now included in Government Buying Standards (mandatory for all central Government departments and agencies) and the supply specifications for the London 2012 Olympics, we have helped 15 institutions across the capital set similarly robust standards.

No less than 13 organisations have hosted ‘Feel-Good-Food Days’ in which we have helped them to showcase the sustainable aspects of the food they serve to their customers.  Some of our most successful themes have promoted the consumption of less but better meat and sustainable fish.

We completed a report which provides recommendations and guidance for London’s boroughs and schools about how to best ensure the provision of sustainable food.  Our background research found that there are clear advantages from local authority school meal service support in terms of quality, value for money and improved sustainability of the food served.  We have also produced a marketing guide to encourage schools and local authorities to join the ‘London Cluster’ buying consortium.

A fitting end to our highly successful year was the GFPP Awards, which were held on 15 March 2012 and hosted at City Hall by Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board.  Thirty two public sector organisations were presented awards, with additional categories this year for Real Bread and for the Food for Life Catering Mark.  

A very big thanks to the GLA for funding GFPP for the last two years and to our Project Officers, Jon Walker, Louise Maxwell Symington, Rosie Blackburn, Pam Brunton, Keena Duignan, Fiona Cairncross and Emma Hockridge for their tireless dedication. 

The GFPP website will continue to serve as a gateway for resources to support all London’s public sector organisations aiming to serve good food.

To learn more about the history of the GFFP project, click here

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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