Online marketplace opens public sector to small food producers
Food and drink producers will now be able to pursue public sector contracts – worth £1.2 billion every year – with buyers from schools, hospitals and other departments as part of a new Government website called the Food Marketplace.
The site will act as an online catalogue where British small-medium enterprises (SMEs) can add details of their food and catering services. More than 8,000 buyers can then search for specific products and be paired with local suppliers.
The new launch is a part of the government’s Plan for Public Procurement which was created in July 2014 by Dr Peter Bonfield. It aims to open up a greater share of the public sector market to more SMEs and local producers.
Food Minister George Eustice, who launched Food Marketplace during an event with producers and buyers, encouraged businesses to sign up and connect with each other.
“At a time when we are seeing more of our world-class food and drink on supermarket shelves and dinner tables around the world, it is only right our local hospitals and schools get the same access to Britain’s high quality, great tasting food,” said Eustice.
“The launch of this new online Food Marketplace is a huge step towards our commitment to driving procurement of our home-grown produce across the public sector and I hope our ambitious food sector seizes this opportunity wholeheartedly.”