Sustainable Procurement – Fresh Pastures and Dairy Farmers of Great Britain

Background Info

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) and Wakefield Council procurement team awarded contracts to two companies recognised for their ability to create social value. The companies were Dairy Farmers of Great Britain and Fresh Pastures. The contract was to supply fresh milk to schools in the region.

What did you do?

YPO and Wakefield Council procurement team developed a procurement process which accounted for social value. An awards criteria was adopted based on sustainability and community benefits, making up 5% of the total award. Training was given to third sector organisations by the Social Enterprise Support Centre to enhance their tendering abilities. Tender clarification sessions and engagement events were held to answer questions that organisations may have about the tendering process, and to give support and guidance to non-traditional contractors.

Fresh Pastures and Dairy Farmers of Great Britain were awarded the contract to supply fresh milk. Fresh Pastures is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which works with Jobcentre Plus, Wakefield Disability Action, Mental Health Matters and other charities to provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged groups. Of those employed by Fresh Pastures, 25% are disabled and the remainder recruited from long-term unemployed. Minimisation of food miles through local sourcing of milk, employment policy, educational activity and use of recyclable cartons were identified by Wakefield Council as areas where Fresh Pastures creates social value and contributed towards the decision to award them the contract. For every £1 of contract delivered by Fresh Pastures, 59p of social value is generated.

Dairy Farmers of Great Britain is a co-operative of regional and national farmers. Dairy Farmers of Great Britain has 768 milk farmers within 50 miles of Wakefield.

What did you learn (things to avoid, things to do etc)

A wider range of suppliers could be engaged with the bidding process by holding tender clarification sessions and engagement events. These events clarified questions on the tendering process and gave support to non-traditional contractors (e.g. third sector organisations) which may otherwise have been unable to submit high quality bids which met Local Authority requirements.

How did this affect understanding and/or achievement of social value?

By creating an awards criteria that took into account the social value and by providing support to third sector organisations, the Wakefield Council procurement team and the YPO were able to award the contract to organisations that created high level of social value.

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