The importance of developing a good relationship with the supply base as part of the overall Procurement Strategy has already been highlighted.
Education of the suppliers is an important activity and they are key stakeholders any policy development around food. Conversely, suppliers have the expertise to advise you on what is possible in order to meet your needs, suggest innovative solutions or different solutions to problems and areas for improvement.
Once the food contract is up and running, as part of your contract management, you should hold regular Contract Review meetings with your food suppliers. This gives you the opportunity to discuss the contract, any problems, spend data, KPIs and ensures continuous improvement and development.
As well as supplier relationships, customer relationships are equally as important and will be looked at in the next sub-section.
It is vital that robust food safety procedures are in place for complaints management, escalation and crisis management.