Driving best-practice procurement in Wales

4Food Supply Chain

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Opportunities for SMEs

It is possible to increase the proportion of local or regional produce bought whilst complying the EU regulations. It is often necessary to think outside the box and consider new and innovative ways of working.  OGC have produced further guidance on Driving Innovation Through Public Procurement.

To facilitate local supply chains it is imperative for procurement to take control of the supply chain at an earlier stage - review the specification accordingly to ensure particular supplier types are not excluded.  Whilst there is increasing emphasis now on collaboration and aggregation, this doesn't mean that SMEs are excluded - aggregation of supply does not necessarily mean aggregration of demand.

Consider what supplier type is best for the food you are buying - this could range from sourcing directly from produers, via markets, distributors or food processors up to out-courced catering outlets and small supplier consortia.  Evaluation criteria should be reviewed to ensure it is capable of scoring the cost / benefit of different supplier types. 

The following are some examples of how to increase bids from small and local suppliers:-

  • Break contracts into smaller 'lots' to encourage smaller producers to bid
  • Simplify and standardise tender documentation so suppliers understand what you want
  • Ensure tenders are widely advertised
  • Hold 'How to Tender' workshops with small and local producers to encourage them
  • Carry out an SME Mapping exercise for various food commodities and suppliers in your area
  • Specify fresh and seasonal produce to open up opportunities for smaller, local producers
  • Specify products with a PGI status where this is feasible
  • Make your supply chain more transparent - inform small producers and suppliers of your prime contractors to identify opportunites for sub-contracting and vice versa - encourage two-way communication
  • Advertise these sub-contracting opportunities on www.sell2wales.gov.wales. 
  • Encourage alternative sources of supply to bid wherever possible eg social enterprises, community farmers' markets, allotment co-operatives, small supplier consortia, etc.

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Don't forget...

Developing local supply chains opens up opportunities for small Welsh producers.

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