The policy and society feasibility project is looking at identifying and developing realistic strategies, policies and practices for local public food procurement localisation and local sustainable development.

This is being achieved by literature review and additional primary investigation to gather more detailed evidence through interviews and interaction with key stakeholders and academic partners at e.g. workshops. See the workshop report for the Local Food Processing and Supply: Challenges and Opportunitiesworkshop,  that was held in Birmingham on 19th April.

The following areas will be investigated:

  • Estimation of the scale of local authority and overall public food procurement relative to overall food demand
  • Analysis of the effects of local authority led initiatives (in the UK and international) in shaping food demand and supply and its further localisation
  • Analysis of the nature and extent of (demand side) barriers and potentials of local authority procurement localisation for sustainable local development
  • Analysis of local supply side barriers and potentials
  • Identification of measures to connect localised public purchasing with the stimulation and expansion of local food supply chains
  • Summary of analysis opportunities and potential
  • Description of the public procurement strategies and practices of selected actors in the case studies of Oxford and Northstowe
  • Estimation of the scale and form of public food procurement which is under the direct control of Oxford and Northstowe and in particular relation to food products (e.g.bread, tomato paste and chicken)
  • Development of strategies, policies and practices relevant to the different contexts of Oxford and Northstowe
  • Highlight potential lessons from localised public food procurement for energy and water systems



the public sector spends about £2.4bn per annum procuring food and catering services, which represents approximately 5.5% of UK food service sector sales. This money is spent feeding people in our schools, hospitals, armed forces, central and local government, government agencies, prisons and courts, and significantly affects their health, wellbeing, and habits…The public sector is estimated to spend about £0.6bn on imported produce”. (Source: ‘A plan for public procurement ‘report, DEFRA)