Foodbuy is committing to spend £5 million with UK social enterprises

We’re delighted to announce that we are committing to spend £5 million with UK social enterprises to incubate and support small suppliers who are giving back to communities and tackling wider social and environmental issues.

Using our everyday spend to change lives and create positive social impact

We believe social enterprises are essential for a successful future. That’s why we have become the first company in the food and drink sector to join the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

This ground-breaking initiative sees high-profile businesses use their everyday spend to transform lives. The Challenge brings together corporate partners from a broad range of industries with a collective ambition to spend £1 billion with social enterprises.

Definition of a social enterprise

A social enterprise is a business that is changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive change by tackling social and environmental issues. Learn more here.

Working with social enterprises

Since joining the Challenge, we have spent over £2 million with more than 20 different social enterprises, including Change Please – an award-winning social enterprise coffee company empowering homeless communities by training them to be baristas. We also work with Toast Ale, who turn unwanted bread into a ‘planet-saving beer’, Life Water who open wells in third world countries and Miss Macaroons who work with long-term unemployed young people to build the confidence and skills they need to become work ready.

Foodbuy’s commitment

As part of the Challenge, we have made a number of commitments:

  • Increasing our spend with UK social enterprises to £5 million
  • Amending sourcing standards with the aim of striving for at least one social enterprise per category
  • Using our scale and leverage to identify suitable routes to market for social enterprises
  • Raising awareness of social enterprise amongst our people, suppliers and clients
  • Offering expertise to social enterprises to help navigate the world of foodservice
  • Working with teams internationally to identify global social enterprise opportunities

Ian Murphy, Managing Director, Foodbuy said: “We believe social enterprises are going to be essential for a successful future. Not just here in the UK but around the world. By working directly with social enterprise suppliers, we will be using our procurement spend and influence to support these businesses and in doing so, change lives for the better.”