Public sector procurement expenditure in Wales stands at around £5.5 billion per year. The public sector has a duty to make the best use of public funds and get the best value from the money it spends. However, that does not mean lowest price and certainly where food is concerned, food safety and quality should be the over-riding factors.
The public sector in Wales spends some £75m on food each year. Local Authorities make up over half of this spend, followed by the NHS, Higher Education, Further Education and Ministry of Defence. Fresh meat accounts for the majority of spend, followed by fruit and vegetables, milk, soft drinks, bread, dairy products, ready meals and water.
Value Wales encourages organisations to follow this Food PRP and use the Welsh Food Charter 'Buying Safe Food for the Public Plate' when letting food contracts. Good practice should be adopted such as ensuring their food suppliers undergo food hygiene audits, food safety and robust supplier selection procedures are built into their tenders for food contracts and effective complaints and contract management procedures are in place and regularly reviewed.