The Department has not issued any advice to schools on procuring food from small, local producers. However, it asked the School Food Trust to provide advice on food procurement issues to local authorities and schools and the trust has recently published “A fresh look at school food procurement: efficiency and sustainability”—guidance for schools and local authorities on how efficient and sustainable food procurement can be pursued in tandem. It can be viewed on the trust’s website at:
The guidance actively promotes the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI), which aims to increase tenders from small and local producers and improve their ability to do business. The guide encourages buyers to identify and reduce barriers to small and medium-sized local enterprises (which may prevent them from tendering) and recognises that smaller suppliers can compete with larger businesses. It also recognises that their participation in the public sector supply chain can benefit local and regional economies. The trust’s website also contains a number of case studies where local authorities and schools demonstrate how they have successfully tendered for local produce for their meals’ service.
In addition, the National Governors Association has recently published a supplement to “Food Policy in Schools—a strategic policy framework for school governing bodies”. This advises governors on how to produce whole school policy statements to promote healthy food, and improve sustainability and efficiency in their procurement of food and catering services. Like the trust’s guidance, it actively promotes the PSFPI.