Food Sourcing

Hampshire County Supplies Food Purchasing

Wholesale Food Distributor

  • Hampshire County Council’s contracted wholesale food distributor, Bidvest, is based near Salisbury, and offers a wide range of dry, chilled and frozen goods which are delivered in multi temperature vehicles.
  • Bidvest also offers a backhaul service, which helps increase efficiency and reduce food miles. 
  • Waste cooking oil is collected by Olleco from kitchens and is converted into Bio Diesel, contributing to Hampshire CO2 savings.


  • All eggs used in Hampshire schools and other units are free-range, farmed to ‘Laid In Britain’ standards and predominantly sourced locally from Fordingbridge.
  • In 2015 Hampshire's customers used 900,000 local free-range eggs.


  • Grated and block cheddar cheese is principally sourced from a supplier base in  Somerset and is made from the milk of cows farmed throughout Southern England.


  • Fish and fish products are from sustainable fish sources.
  • Our fish fingers and fish cakes are manufactured with a wheat and gluten free coating (made from rice and maize flour) allowing them to be given to coeliacs.

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Local fruit and vegetables are used when in season including apples, cabbages, cauliflowers, spring greens, leeks, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, lettuce, soft fruit, potatoes and watercress.
  • Some bananas are Fairtrade when available.
  • Most frozen potato products are sourced from McCain Foods, a leading member of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme which promotes sustainable, environmentally responsible farming in the UK. 


  • Cheese & Vegetable Bakes are made from ingredients sourced in the UK.
  • Bean & Vegetable Bake is wheat and gluten free, and made in Amesbury.
  • Vegetarian sausages and Toad in the Hole are produced in Ringwood, Hampshire.
  • Quorn is sourced from Yorkshire.

Dairy and Morning Goods

  • All kitchen milk comes from Southern England, including from Hampshire dairy farms.
  • Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurts from Somerset have been used in schools since November 2012.  The cattle are farmed in Blagdon, Somerset.
  • Muller yoghurts made in Shropshire are used in many other establishments.  All the milk is used from Shropshire, or surrounding areas.
  • Flavoured milk is produced by one of Ireland's largest farmer owned dairy co-operatives.
  • We promote the use of UK frozen bread where required, mainly using UK flour.  All bakers are local.
  • We source ice cream from the New Forest, using UK sourced ingredients wherever possible.
  • Margarine certified for use by vegans is widely used across all menus, is made from sustainable palm oil in the UK.

Beef, Chicken & Turkey

  • Diced beef is from English counties farmed cattle and is Red Tractor certified.
  • Red Tractor minced beef comes mainly from Yorkshire 
  • Sliced beef is farmed to QMS (Quality Meat Scotland) standard.  Full traceability is guaranteed.
  • A beef meatball  was introduced in April 2016, which is produced from Red Tractor certified meat from animals farmed in the west and south-west, some of which will be from Hampshire.
  • Red Tractor Chicken Breast Fillets are sourced in the UK from UK reared meat.
  • Cooked diced chicken is also from British Red Tractor farmed poultry and prepared in a Grade A BRC factory.  The meat is mostly from Norfolk.
  • HC3S received a Good Farm Animal Award for its commitment to use higher welfare farmed chicken.
  • UK chicken meat grills, developed specifically for HC3S with a wheat and gluten free coating, are used on our menus (the meat is from south-west England farmed birds).  This product was Highly Commended at the FreeFrom Food Awards.
  • For other non-schools sites, the main fresh meat butcher is Portsmouth-based and offers a fully traceable range that includes a ‘Southern Pride’ list sourced from Southern England and who have EBLEX accreditation.


  • HC3S was awarded the Good Pig Award in 2014 by Compassion in World Farming. As such, all of the meat sourced is Freedom Foods (RSPCA monitored), which ensures animals have
    • Freedom from hunger and thist
    • Freedom from discomfort
    • Freedom from pain, injury or disease
    • Freedom to express normal behaviour
    • Freedom from fear and distress

Coffee and Tea

  • The majority of coffee used is from Kraft (Kenco and Maxwell House) and is Rain Forest Alliance (RFA) certified.
  • Tea is from Tetley and is also supported by the RFA.
  • Fairtrade tea and fairly traded coffee are offered for all meetings in the Winchester HQ Castle complex and are sold in the staff restaurant.

Fruit Juices

  • Apple juice is sourced from an Alton-based maker who produces Hampshire Apple Juice for school children in recyclable bottles (and other units in one litre packs for pouring).
  • The fruit used is locally sourced from Liss and Droxford in Hampshire.
  • A range of Welsh-made natural mineral water based drinks are widely used in schools and the various fruit ingredients are from sustainable EU sources, except  oranges which are from Brazil.

Gravy Powder

  • Gravy powder and crystals are made to our specification with reduced salt and are free from Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and other additives.

Caster Sugar

  • All caster and icing sugar used is Fairtrade.

Other Products

  • Our entire range of full-finished pasta sauces are made in Newton Abbot, Devon.
  • Pizza bases and Tasca Pockets are made in Midhurst, West Sussex using some local ingredients.
  • Panizzas are also made in Midhurst from good English strains of wheat with a little higher protein EU product.  Panizzas also contain English grown rapeseed oil.
  • Scotch, American Pancakes and Blinis are made from UK wheat flour, liquid egg, sugar and manufactured in Leeds.
  • Puff pastry squares are manufactured in the UK from EU grown wheat, rapeseed oil (some from the UK), UK manufactured margarine and salt produced in the UK.
  • Yorkshire puddings are produced in Hull from UK wheat flour and other mainly UK ingredients.

Hampshire Fare

  • The Council is a strong supporter of Hampshire Fare, the County food group which works with producers and farmers in Hampshire as well as shops, restaurants, schools, government agencies, the media and the public to heighten awareness and consumption of Hampshire's quality produce and support the rural economy in Hampshire.