Recent controversy over Government contracted food boxes shows poor nutritional value at exorbitant prices, in another directly awarded government contract.

Controversial Food Box Contractors Face Scrutiny

January 31, 2021
Procurement

There is increased scrutiny for the suppliers of food boxes provided to the chronically ill and those asked to shelter through the Covid pandemic, and a number of high profile individuals have started to question the lack of quantity of goods and nutritional value within the 4,724,611 boxes that have been delivered through the food box scheme.

Today we’re publishing details of each contract that has been published in the scheme to help increase transparency around these contracts and who they were awarded to.

Activist, cook and author Jack Monroe has taken to Twitter to highlight the issue, showing a range of food box photos sent in from here community.

Early on in the pandemic, Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford, championed free schools meals for poorer families struggling through income loss and coronavirus restrictions. He too raises concerns of the quality of support provided by the scheme:

The Good Law project revealed in their findings on the UK Government food box scheme, that each food box cost an incredible £44 each, reflecting  a £69% mark up on the £26 retail price of similar supermarket boxes. Most concerning of all is the Government, again awarded the contract – worth £208million – without a competitive tender, to foodservice wholesaler, Bidfood and Brakes.

For those interested in the detail of this and other Government contracts awarded for food parcel and related support during Covid, we’ve pulled together a table of all known contracts around food parcels here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTweUvoUgxleSDOddYYcIHEfDy9VzMaQ5OPx5033JparmvgVm2rr-NVHhH35CgAd1IShl7R-XDRz0Gr/pubhtml.

Food box contracts

Value (£) Buyer Title Description Duration (months) Published date Supplier Link
£15,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS External Consultancy COVID 19 Food Boxes External assurance to Government regarding the delivery of the Shielded Vulnerable COVID 19 Food Boxes 25 28/04/2020 CLICK ON LOGISTICS LTD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/b01a2c8b-e9bf-45d6-a622-c98bc632e5a4
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BFS T/A BIDFOOD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:215876-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£208,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY333518
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:215876-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes – Shielded Vulnerable COV19 Supply Assembly and Delivery of Food Boxes to persons designated Shielded Vulnerable under the COVID 19 Emergency 98 06/05/2020 BFS T/A BIDFOOD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c8d13eea-f7db-4cff-8f15-6c0c1aed1d7f
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes – Shielded Vulnerable COV19 Supply Assembly and Delivery of Food Boxes to persons designated Shielded Vulnerable under the COVID 19 Emergency 132 30/06/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c8d13eea-f7db-4cff-8f15-6c0c1aed1d7f
£71,000,000 SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT Food Boxes for the Clinically Vulnerable As part of the Scottish Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent requirement for a system of delivering boxes of essential groceries to individuals designated as clinically vulnerable i.e. with health conditions which require them to be shielded from potential exposure to the virus. Demand is estimated at around 60,000 individuals in Scotland. CPV: 60180000, 15897300, 85312200. 0 12/06/2020 BRAKE BROS LIMITED https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUN388055
£6,300,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 LYNAS FOODSERVICE https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUN336317
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 MUSGRAVE DISTRIBUTION LTD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 LYNAS FOODSERVICE http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 HENDERSON FOODSERVICE LIMITED http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML

if you’d like to talk to us about out research or or government procurement data services.

 

September 27, 2022

New EU Procurement Instrument Now Law.

About a year ago, we wrote an article on the new procurement instrument approved by the European Union. In recent weeks this...
September 20, 2022

Blacklisting Gets Tested.

Back in June we wrote about blacklisting of suppliers and the Government’s intention to prevent poorly performing suppliers from bidding for government...
September 8, 2022

UK Risks Its Place On Anti-Corruption Body

The UK has been placed ‘under review’ by the 77-country-strong Open Government Partnership (OGP) due to its failure to meet mandatory criteria...
September 8, 2022

Thurrock Exposes Transparency Blind Spot

An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) into investments by Thurrock Borough Council has led to the resignation of the...
September 6, 2022

New Zealand Government Reviewing Procurement System.

It’s always encouraging when we see governments around the world looking to improve their procurement transparency and efficiency. The New Zealand Government...
September 1, 2022

Collecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at setting a sustainable procurement framework in the construction industry, and what kind...
August 30, 2022

Selecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

It is estimated that around 40-50% of natural resources are transformed into construction material, and that as much as 30% of all...
August 25, 2022

Setting A Sustainable Procurement Framework For Construction

When procuring construction projects, it can be useful to underpin sustainability criteria on existing policy and regulation. When assessing the enabling framework,...
August 18, 2022

Big Net Zero Contract Win For Small Cornish Business

A small Cornish company has purportedly won a £70bn contract to help deliver the country's transition to Net Zero. The Penzance based...
August 16, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In ICT

One of the key challenges of sustainably procuring ICT lies in the lack of transparency in supply chains. To overcome this challenge,...
August 11, 2022

Why Is Sustainable Procurement Important For The ICT Sector?

The extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal of ICT products is associated with a number of environmental, social, and...
August 10, 2022

Shifts Towards Sustainable Sourcing

A while ago,  we shared an article on findings by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum that showed procurement is responsible...
August 9, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In The Construction Industry

Construction projects are usually long and complex, involving the participation of different stakeholders throughout the different project stages. There are certain factors...
August 4, 2022

Why Is Open SPP Important In The Construction Sector?

The construction industry is estimated to account for 6% of global GDP, with Africa's construction market valued at around USD 5.4 billion...

Newsletter

Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

The Times
May 30, 2022
CIPFA
August 3, 2021

Search

Scroll to Top