The full Wales report will be published in July 2020.
WALES Devolved inquiry
The Commissions Inquiry in Wales focussed on the opportunities afforded by the distinctive Welsh policy framework to make more rapid progress towards sustainable practices. Led by Professor Jane Davidson, and supported by Menter a Busnes, our inquiry in Wales focussed on how public procurement can work more effectively, to support the seven goals outlined in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The Act aims to improve the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Wales by making the public bodies listed in the Act: think more about the long-term; work better with people, communities and each other; look to prevent problems; and take a more joined-up approach.
The Wales inquiry focussed on procuring food for the ‘public plate’, in partnership with Welsh growers and producers and local procurement teams to unlock new forms of leadership to address the challenges that stop good local procurement being the norm. Wales only grows 3% of the fruit and veg that we eat in Wales. Between £5-6 billion is spent in Wales through procurement but power is fragmented as the budget is split across a number of sectors. Better public procurement is a topic central to the Commission’s broader inquiries. Good procurement can be a lever to ensure Welsh production is supported and helped to change towards more sustainable farming systems.
Progress on procurement requires public bodies – such as local authorities, health boards and organisations like the Arts and Sports Councils of Wales – to put long-term sustainability at the forefront of their thinking, and work with each other along with other relevant organisations (such as third sector groups) and the public to prevent and tackle problems.
Designed as an ‘action learning’ project (where participants meet to improve a situation by taking action and learning from it) a public service leaders group has been convened in West Wales, with the support of Cardiff University, and a farmers, growers and producers group was convened in North Wales. The inquiry therefore explored issues on both sides of the contracting relationship.
The Welsh report to be published by FFCC will outline where practical progress can be made, when the policy levers line up with new forms of local leadership.