Tips for simplifying documentation

A healthy approach to better procurement

Separate products and transportation

Detaching logistics from the food procurement process and thus procuring distribution separately means that a single distributor is commissioned with transporting all of the food suppliers’ products. This makes matters easier for small businesses that may not have a transportation option of their own to offer that matches the contracting authority’s needs, and enables environmental considerations to be taken in the form of requirements on vehicles and so forth.

Stipulate environmental and quality requirements

The National Agency for Public Procurement designs resources and tools to help stipulate environmental requirements, which can easily be copied into the tender document. Based on your organisation and your means, you can choose your own level of ambition and which environmental requirements to stipulate. You can choose to procure green conventional products, EU Ecolabel products or organic products with stricter animal-care requirements.

Define measurable quality requirements

Straightforward and measurable awarding criteria are important in being able to award the contract to the supplier that fulfils the quality requirements in the requirement specification and that has the lowest price. For example, avoid using taste tests as a metric to define quality and instead state the maximum and minimum quantities of meat and fat in processed meats, and the maximum and minimum quantities for the percentage of fruit and sugar in preserves.

Adapt the contract conditions for the different product groups

Review which products may experience sharp price fluctuations during the contract period and try to make more frequent price adjustments.

Extend bidding and contract terms

To ensure that you receive high-quality and correct tenders, it is helpful if the bidding period is longer than the minimum permitted under LOU. This also applies to contract terms so that, for example, smaller suppliers have time to establish a functioning distribution chain, which requires a longer contract term than two years.

Use tender templates

Preferably design the tender document as a template that the supplier can complete directly. This reduces the risk of any questions mistakenly going unanswered.

Be clear and avoid any unnecessary information

Remember to only stipulate relevant requirements that are related to the actual food procurement itself. Also, do not stipulate the same requirement in different places in the tender document. Remove any unnecessary information, such as LOU extracts, which can instead be posted on the contracting authority’s website.

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