Local sourcing hit by pressure on spending

29 September 2010 by
Local sourcing hit by pressure on spending

Environmental targets in public sector contracts are coming under increasing pressure as clients demand significant cost savings at the expense of sustainability and local sourcing.

With intense pressure on all public sector spend, suppliers scrabbling to slash costs are looking for the cheapest produce possible, which makes sustainable local sourcing less likely.

One wholesaler said that having geared up for local sourcing in line with moves to support British suppliers through public procurement, some buyers are now looking at price as the principle consideration. "This might mean Dutch rather than British tomatoes," she added.

Eden Foodservice director Simon James said that over the past 12 months the mood had changed dramatically and suggested that the awarding matrices for local government tenders have moved from as much as 70% being placed on quality and sustainability and 30% on price to, in some cases, completely the reverse.

"It reflects the austere circumstances in which we currently live. Local authorities have to find significant savings going forward," he added. "Some will look for economies of scale in different ways, such as outsourcing provision to a commercial contractor."

Others question the approach, adopted in the main by NHS trusts, of using buying consortiums to drive down price without necessarily putting enough emphasis on sustainability.

Martin Cantor, catering project manager at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, said that procurement departments are tasked with saving money and that measures put in place aim to ensure quality is not affected. "But there's only so much blood you can squeeze from a stone. Something is going to give somewhere down the line," he added.

"Economies of scale make buying locally very difficult. It takes time to set up with individual local farmers and you need to be certain they will be able to deliver."

However, Sodexo buying director Steve Jobson said that sustainability was still a priority for the public sector. He added: "If anything, recent tenders suggest that it has become more prevalent in their requirements."

Pubs and restaurants caught selling ‘local' food from far away >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/09/27/335294/Pubs-and-restaurants-caught-selling-39local39-food-from-far.htm)

<span class=""noindex"">By Janie Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

[Blogs on Caterersearch.com](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking