‘Procuring Food for the Future’ report is published.

The report, a collaboration between FoodWise Leeds, the University of Leeds, Lancaster University and FoodFutures (North Lancashire’s Sustainable Food Network), explores the role that anchor institutions can play in creating a better food system – one that underpins local food economies and the health of the earth’s ecosystems.


The reports’s key recommendations are:

For policy makers:

Instead of guidelines, we need procurement regulation that embeds sustainability to deliver a better food system.

Increased transparency and accessibility of data around food supply chains and food businesses is needed to support more sustainable procurement practice.

Provide long-term investment to support public sector food procurement.

For institutions:

Embed sustainability at the core of operations to empower and support procurement staff.

Build links with other organisations to share expertise and knowledge around sustainable food procurement.

Use holistic frameworks to guide food procurement principles and embed social, environmental and economic values into your policies.

Share stories about what is being done to build wider institutional support and resources for responsible procurement.

For communities:

Convene a food procurement working group to facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing between food procurement staff and local businesses.

Look for opportunities to engage local sustainable food producers with local and national initiatives.

Grow the local food economy so that a wide range of local, sustainably produced food is available for procurement.

Take your values to work. Ask to see local and responsibly sourced food throughout your workplace.

Sonja Woodcock, Leeds’ Food Co-ordinator and one of the report’s authors explains;

This work was triggered by a meeting with LCC CEO Tom Riordan in Dec 2018, which was instigated by Sue Ottley-Hughes of Feed Leeds, and attended by Tom Bliss and myself as members of both Feed Leeds and FoodWise Leeds.

At the meeting, procurement by anchor institutions was identified as a key route to creating a better food system – one that underpins local food economies and the health of the earth’s ecosystems, delivering a change to shorter supply chains, a more plant-based health-focused diet, and support for local food production which can create social value and improved economic consequences for the immediate locale.

So with funding from the University of Leeds and Lancaster University as part of the
N8 AgriFood Programme, we put together a team involving Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, University of Leeds, Lancaster University and Lancashire Schools Catering. We’re very pleased with the report, but now the real work begins – to really push on with the process of effecting change and delivering results”

The report is being launched at the N8 Policy Hub event on the 12th of November.

See more FoodWise Leeds research, including our recent Food Policy Brief, here.

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