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