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FOI release

FOI – 2023-000419 Fairtrade Food Purchases (HTML)

Published on 04 December 2023

Date received – 10/11/2023 | Date responded – 04/12/2023


I am seeking some data regarding your annual fair trade purchasing.

This year marks 10 years of Scotland being a Fair Trade Nation. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is compiling information on fair trade purchasing within public bodies, institutions and organisations across Scotland for the 2022-23 edition of its report into Fair Trade expenditure and policy commitments within Scotland's public sector. To understand how NHS Health Scotland's procurement policies were previously reported on and to read our recommendations, please review our 2019-22 edition here.

Can you kindly provide data on NHS Health Scotland's total annual spend on fair trade goods across the April 2022 – March 2023 financial year? See example response format attached below.

Please see attached all information as requested.

Please include a breakdown of:

  • Vendor name
  • Whether they were contracted/non-contracted
  • A description of item(s) purchased
  • The total value per order
  • Items purchased for resale (if applicable)

Please also provide your general policy on the procurement of fairly and ethically traded goods and services, in line with section 15(5)(b)(v) of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

I am aware that, given potential limitations, you may only be able to capture spend where purchasers have specifically used such terms as "fair" and "trade", "fairtrade" or "fairly" and "traded" in their requisitions, and so items where buyers have used catalogue item numbers will not be reflected in the data. These considerations will be acknowledged in the report.


Please find attached Appendix 1 – Fairtrade foods purchased, which details the information you

requested. Please note that all products listed in this appendix are defined as ‘’Fairtrade’’.

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act, 2002 (FOISA) an organisation does not have to provide the requested information if it does not hold that information. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold any information in relation to purchases intended for resale as this could be for staff, visitors and/or patients and we do not hold this level of data.

With regards to our policy on the procurement of fairly and ethically traded goods and services, all frameworks are done in line with the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 utilising the procurement journey and application of the relevant sustainability tools to develop specific and required criteria.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request, you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information, please contact Head of Information and Cyber Security, Digital and Security within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.



NHS National Services Scotland
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.