Entegra, a Sodexo company, and expert in procurement solutions, has been named as the supplier by Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the UK’s largest public procurement organisation, to implement the government’s new Buying Better Food and Drink public sector agreement, which has been developed with Defra.

The Buying Better Food and Drink agreement aims to drive up standards of food and drink available to the public sector including school children and hospital patients by meeting the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering (GBSF). It also aims to:

  • support food producers, including SMEs, in accessing public sector food contracts
  • offer a simplified route to market
  • provide better access to locally-sourced produce
  • source healthy and high-quality produce in a consistent way

The agreement will shorten supply chains by simplifying the customer journey and helping public bodies to meet their carbon net zero targets.

Entegra will provide a single-access online portal. This will make it easier for public sector customers and small businesses by offering a simplified route to markets - opening up access to a range of food and drink suppliers for the public sector. The platform provides real-time stock checks and consolidated invoicing with automated digital payments. As part of the agreement, Entegra is appointing Equilibrium Markets to utilise its AgileChain technology, which connects every part of the food supply chain efficiently. 

Enabling social value plays a key part in the agreement. It aims to support SMEs to supply public sector contracts by giving procurement teams the option to add their preferred SME suppliers to the agreement and receive deliveries directly from them.

CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2022/23, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £3.8 billion - supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers

Stephen Beech, Managing Director, Entegra UK & Ireland, said:

Entegra is proud to have been named as the supplier on CCS’s Buying Better Food and Drink agreement.

Entegra's solution combines a nationwide network of distributors, producers, farmers, growers and manufacturers with innovative technology and efficient processes which has the potential to transform public sector buying and create value for many SME businesses.

We are at the beginning of a very exciting journey together.

Simon Tse, CEO of Crown Commercial Service said:

We're delighted to be working alongside Defra to introduce better quality, seasonal and nutritious food into schools, hospitals and prisons.

As we continue to grow the economy, this food solution will support public sector bodies in purchasing good quality food and help local and small businesses compete for public sector contracts for the first time, opening up economic opportunities across the country.

Rich Osborn, CEO, Equilibrium Markets and Dynamic Food Procurement Advisory Board member, added:

The CCS Buying Better Food and Drink agreement is good news for SME food producers and suppliers because it has the potential to transform sourcing capability for public sector caterers.

The team here at Equilibrium Markets have been at the forefront of short food supply chain management and dynamic procurement approaches in the catering sector since 2015, and we look forward to delivering social, economic and environmental value for farmers, producers, suppliers, chefs and diners everywhere.



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