SWA Chief Executive Colin Smith at the Economy and Fair Work Committee
SWA Chief Executive Colin Smith addressing the Economy and Fair Work Committee.

Chief Executive, Colin Smith, gave evidence yesterday to the Economy and Fair Work Committee and who are taking evidence as part of their post legislative scrutiny of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. Following views garnered from SWA members, Colin shared the key issues around some of the challenges the wholesale sector face in trying to deliver the aims of the bill.

This included the Public Sector misunderstanding of the wholesale supply chain; the rigidity and inflexibility of the procurement framework and additional regulatory burdens preventing many local suppliers tendering for Local Authority contracts; the tendering process being cumbersome, costly and time consuming to complete; too large a focus being weighted on the ‘cost of food’ rather than the ‘benefit of cost’; and how a whole system approach would create a stronger Scottish/local economy, sustainable local supply chain and job creation.

The SWA delivering Growth Through Wholesale programme was mentioned as a tool to help educate the procurement teams on the ‘whole food system’ and a way to improve the relationship, and build confidence, between the local authorities, wholesaler and supplier.

View the full meeting here.