£50m food contract across London awarded

By Fiona Wilkins, Corporate Communications Manager

YPO Food news
A group of seven London Boroughs, supported by YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, have awarded a £50 million contract to Thomas Ridley Food Service to provide food for school meals.

Wakefield-based YPO worked closely with the London Borough of Havering to develop a framework which would meet their requirements and offer great value for money. 

The seven authorities (part of the ‘London Boroughs Procurement Collaborative’) include the London Boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Thurrock Unitary Authority, will all benefit from the new agreement by receiving a 5% saving on a contract worth £50m over four years.

YPO was able to coordinate the tender process through its unique public sector framework known as ‘The UK Food Deal’. The UK Food Deal was launched nationwide in 2016 and was set up specifically to meet the needs of public sector organisations which look for a legally compliant, easy-to-use and cost-saving way of procuring food. The framework means that YPO can help organisations be more efficient by saving time and money on lengthy and complex tenders, leaving them to focus on their priorities such as education provision. It also allows organisations to access a range of local and national suppliers including SMEs.

YPO’s food business manager Darren Byford said: “We’re very proud to have worked with the London Boroughs Procurement Collaborative on this important contract that has helped save money which can go back into the public sector where it’s needed most.”

The London Borough of Havering’s senior category advisor Mark Batchelor said: “It’s been fantastic to work with YPO who have guided us through this process to find a good quality and great value food supplier. To make efficiency savings during times of budget cuts and high food price inflation is critical, as it allows us to focus more efforts on meeting the needs of our communities.”

Thomas Ridley Food Service’s sales director Steve Lyons said: “We were thrilled to be awarded this contract through YPO’s UK Food Deal as it falls in line with our own mission to deliver the best quality food services to the education sector. We’re committed to encouraging and promoting the benefits of a healthy balanced diet to children and young people.”