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Compass and Foodbuy Driving Social Procurement With The Buy Social Corporate Challenge

  • Compass and Foodbuy drive significant impact through social enterprise partnerships

Compass Group UK & Ireland and Foodbuy, as key partners of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, are proud to work with social enterprises to create jobs, change lives and protect the environment. The businesses actively support social enterprises across their supply chain, working with organisations, which reinvest at least 50% of their profits into a social or environmental mission.

In 2019, Compass’ procurement business Foodbuy joined the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, followed by the wider Compass Group UK & I business in 2020. The initiative supports a group of high-profile businesses to collectively spend £1 billion with social enterprises through their procurement.

Since joining the Challenge, Compass Group UK&I and Foodbuy have spent £12.8 million with UK social enterprise suppliers. Highlights include:

  • Toast Brewing: Saved over 200,000 slices of surplus bread with Toast Brewing, a business turning unwanted bread into a ‘planet-saving beer’.
  • WildHearts Office: Transformed 5,130 lives with WildHearts Office by funding gender equality and social projects through stationery purchases.
  • Rubies in the Rubble: Saved 9,413 kg of fruit with Rubies in the Rubble, which saves surplus food and vegetable produce by turning it into jam and other condiments.
  • Life Water: Supported the Drop4Drop charity to fund 350 clean drinking water projects through sales of Life Water products.

To further promote supplier diversity and support Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs), Foodbuy has undertaken the following initiatives:

  • Pitch Social Events: Introducing multiple social enterprises, minority-owned suppliers, and other SMEs into Foodbuy’s supply chain.
  • Increasing Spend with VCSEs: Achieving a 50% increase in spend between 2022 and 2023.
  • Expanding VCSEs Partnerships: Incorporating 47 VCSEs into supply chain and spending £4.4 million with VCSEs in 2023.

As the pioneering programme marks its eighth year, the Buy Social Corporate Challenge Year 8 Report was released recently, showing that 2023 had the highest trading levels to date. Since its launch, £477 million has been spent by partners with social enterprises, helping create over 4,500 jobs.

Karl Atkins, CEO of Foodbuy Group said: “We are proud to be a partner in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, reinforcing our commitment to leveraging our procurement to drive positive social change. Supporting social enterprises through our supply chain aligns closely with our values - so it’s important for us to support like-minded organisations to make a meaningful impact on society.”

Charlie Wigglesworth, Deputy Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “These latest results show that our Buy Social Corporate Challenge is not some well-meaning experiment for businesses willing to try something different – it’s a powerful force for change in corporate supply chains. We’re proud to see social enterprise at the forefront of this transformation.

“With millions being reinvested in people and planet through our Challenge and the wider social procurement movement, we hope our vital work continues to inspire the public and private sectors to take action for the future of business.”

To read the full report, visit www.socialenterprise.org.uk/seuk-report/buy-social-corporate-challenge-year-8-report***.

Driving impact with the Buy Social Corporate Challenge