Purple Foodservice is a consortium consisting of two shareholding partners – Vestey Foodservice and Supreme Group.

Who is Purple Foodservice?

Purple Foodservice Solutions Limited is the prime contractor for the Ministry of Defence Worldwide Food Supply and Operational Rations Contract. The company was created specially to bid for and then operate the MoD contract. Purple Foodservice is a consortium consisting of two shareholding partners:

  • Vestey Foodservice
  • Supreme Group

Vestey provides the logistical requirements within the UK, with Supreme Group operating overseas depot locations. Vestey also is a major supplier of meat, poultry products and operational rations.

Where do you deliver food to HM Armed Forces?

The contract requires deliveries to static defence establishments throughout the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland except those participating in the Catering Defence and Leisure programme (CRL), and HM Ships and Submarines at sea delivered to dockside. Overseas routine delivery destinations include the South Atlantic, Germany and RN & RFA ships in overseas ports if the requirement is viable and value for money.

When did the contract start and how long is it set to run?

A 5 year contract was awarded on the 24th June 2006 and is now extended to 30th September 2017.   The full contract requirements were taken up from the previous contractor on 1st October 2006.  The Purple Foodservice joint venture will be dissolved at the end of the current contract term.

How can I become a supplier to PFS for the Ministry of Defence?

The details are on our suppliers page.

Why was PFS awarded the contract?

The PFS bid was the MoD’s preferred choice of three, after a thorough and meticulously scrutinised adjudication process conducted by the Defence Food Services Team, part of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).The successful bid addressed and was compliant with every element of this complex supply chain operation.

What made the Purple bid better than the others?

The Purple Foodservice management teams holds substantial experience in MoD food contract management, as well as Supreme Group's unparalleled knowledge of the non-UK operational logistics. In presenting an innovative approach and an inbuilt commitment to taxpayer value, PFS offered the Ministry the best overall option and best value for money.

What is the value of the contract?

The contract is worth in the region of £150 million in the first year. This figure includes costs relating to ‘exceptional’ activity, including active operational theatres and exercises. The annual value to Purple of in-barracks messing will reduce as the MoD continues to roll out its Pay as you Dine (PAYD) programme, which will see more static defence establishments switching to catering services supplied by contract caterers. In order to meet the requirements of the Contract, over 300 UK jobs were generated.

Will the troops be eating British food?

Food and other goods are purchased primarily against a priority directive to provide best value for money. There are Food Selection Panels (FSP), comprised of both military caterers and servicemen and women. The FSP confirms existing, or selects new products to be included in the core range of products. It is a fundamental MoD protocol that troops serving overseas be served cuisine as close as possible to that provided at home defence establishments in the UK. Overall 66% of British sourced food is supplied. Fresh food is sourced in UK, including fresh bread, fresh milk, cheddar cheese, eggs, and cooking oil as is fresh fruit, vegetables and potatoes. In some overseas areas fresh produce is procured locally dependent on local availability; for some locations fresh items have to be exported from the UK.

Will the beef, lamb, pork and chicken be British?

British meat is included within the contract provision as and when it meets the purchasing requirements. Currently 60% of beef is of UK origin. Value for money is paramount, closely followed by other regular trading considerations such as availability, quality assurance and compliance.

Sustainability is an increasingly important issue, does Purple have environmental policies?

In addition to our focus on best value, as indicated above we have a policy of offering our customer a number of alternative products and identifying any sustainability considerations in the selection process. Both UK Depots operated by Vestey Foodservice hold the ISO14001 certification and the overseas Depots conform to ISO14001 standards.