Strategic Procurement and Commercial Support: Developing a New, Healthy and Nutritious Menu for an Educational Trust

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Value Match supported a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) of 11 schools to develop a new, healthy and nutritious menu through strategic procurement and commercial support.  As a result of Value Match procurement expertise and support, the MAT was able to award a contract to two suppliers and achieve a 29% saving over a 5-year contract period.


A Learning Partnership commissioned Value Match to provide strategic procurement and commercial support as the MAT were to undertake their vision of developing a new, healthy, and nutritious menu within the MAT and were open to appoint multiple suppliers to provide a wide range of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables, meats, frozen and ambient goods for all 11 schools within the MAT.

The MAT objectives were to

  • Provide a streamlined, system integrated, processes for food ordering for the MAT staff.
  • Obtain a single point of contact with suppliers, supported by proactive account management structures, to improve the overall service delivered and create efficiencies with contract management for the MAT.
  • Work with suppliers who are able to support all the MAT breakfast clubs.
  • Create cost certainty in a rapidly changing and dynamic environment.
  • Enter into a contract that can support the growing aspirations of the MAT.
  • Achieve procurement compliance and obtain cashable savings where possible.

The MAT were looking to receive bids that demonstrated value for money that would form part of the new menu within the MAT but also able to deliver the service by working closely with the MAT to ensure high quality goods are received at the right time and place.


Value Match provided strategic support during this procurement which included:

  1. Identified and reviewed the possible routes to market, providing an options appraisal detailing the most appropriate and cost-effective route to market for the MAT
  2. Conducted market engagement with suppliers to understand the current market conditions, appetite for bidding and to understand supplier capabilities to manage with system integration to meet the MAT objectives.
  3. Utilising a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to run a competitive tender process to provide a quick and compliant route to market to meet the MAT’s deadlines.
  4. Provided advice and guidance on contractual documentation to ensure they reflected the MAT’s needs and did not impose any unnecessary risk
  5. Engaged with the MAT, and catering manager, to gain a detailed understanding of the goods required as part of the new school menu vision.
  6. Developed a high quality, fit for purpose specification which clearly articulated the requirements to the market
  7. Compiling the appropriate documentation and managing the end-to-end process to ensure compliance with procurement legislation, equal treatment of bidders and transparency
  8. Providing evaluation training to the panel of school staff and governors.
  9. Managing the technical, commercial and moderation evaluation process
  10. Providing project management and weekly briefings to the school to ensure they were continually updated on the process through to effective delivery
  11. Preparing evaluation reports and supplier debriefing letters/discussions
  12. Managing the contract award process including drafting contract documentation and publishing the award notices.
  13. Facilitated the contract mobilisation process
  14. Providing ongoing contract management to ensure service delivery is in line with the contract.


As a result of this procurement, the MAT were able to

  1. Complete a compliant, cost-effective procurement process resulting in the most economically advantageous tender being awarded to two suppliers.
  2. Utilise a reduced basket list where prepared meal concepts are being replaced with fresh ingredients to create the new menu with meals created on site in the school kitchens
  3. Contracted with two suppliers who ensure that the Learning Partnership can be serviced across all categories required by the MAT.
  4. The introduction of an online ordering system to increase efficiency and communication between supplier and MAT to provide visibility of all orders and confirmation of deliveries.
  5. Access to a discount for all items outside the core basket items to support he MAT in ensuring value for money across the contract period.
  6. A supplier rebate based on spend to go back directly to the MAT to be reinvested directly into the school, such as the breakfast club
  7. Students will have access to Supplier events and initiatives to support their curriculum learning and further their understanding of the service industry and food chain.
  8. Achieved 29% saving over a 5-year contract period by utilising a competitive process across all Categories for the new menus items.

The project was completed simultaneously as part of a multiple projects undertaken across the school term within 17 weeks ensuring the school were able to fully mobilise in advance of the contract start date.

For further information, contact Lindsay Rosul

T: 07702 823 648