Publication - Advice and guidance

Catering for change: buying food sustainably in the public sector

Guidance for anyone involved in the procurement of food or catering services in the public sector.

20 page PDF

490.6 kB

20 page PDF

490.6 kB

Catering for change: buying food sustainably in the public sector
What is Sustainable Procurement?

20 page PDF

490.6 kB

What is Sustainable Procurement?

The Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan 2 defines sustainable procurement as "a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods and services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment." Further guidance on sustainable procurement can be found in the Action Plan.

The Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan

The Scottish Government produced the Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan to assist the Scottish public sector to build sustainable procurement into corporate culture, to take proper account of sustainability in procurement activity and to be able to demonstrate how this is being achieved. The Action Plan outlines a whole organisation approach to successful sustainable procurement, in order to encourage thinking about more sustainable outcomes at the outset of the procurement process and building in sustainability when requirements are being specified.

The Action Plan provides generic guidance about sustainable procurement and fulfilling its ten steps will help the public sector to mainstream sustainability and contribute to achieving Best Value and meeting Climate Change obligations. It contains supporting annexes that provide guidance on a range of topics under three headings - social, economic and environmental.

Developing a Sustainable Food Procurement Policy

A successful sustainable food procurement policy should be integrated into the overall strategy of any public body and can play a part in progressing organisational and national aims and objectives relating to sustainable social, economic and environmental development.

Sustainable food means food that, through its production, processing, distribution and consumption, provides a range of benefits. Food can promote sustainable development in a number of ways, including by:

  • delivering the benefits of good nutritional quality
  • promoting good health and education
  • protecting the environment
  • avoiding unnecessary use of natural resources
  • contributing towards economic development



Telephone: 0300 244 9802

Scottish Government
Food, Drink and Rural Communities
B1 Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD