Selecting the right contract period is important. Where there is a strategy to develop new suppliers - and this requires those suppliers to invest - a longer-term contract may be more suitable. This would also underpin an approach asking suppliers themselves to move towards more environmentally sustainable methods of production or processing.
Timing is important in moving to longer-term contracts. If the supply base is not sufficiently developed to provide real competition, or the requirement itself is likely to change over time, it may be better to split the requirement into lots or delay the movement to longer term contracts.
Equally, some food commodity types experience considerable fluctuations in pricing and in some cases spot rate purchasing or short-term contract are more suitable.
Sustainable food procurement can have positive effects on the environment, economy and society.