Campfire Event: City of Ghent, Belgium

Each of our 32 Beacons has the opportunity to hold a ‘campfire’. These campfires are an opportunity for members of the beacon organisation or initiative to get together and reflect on their progress and challenges so far. It’s also an opportunity to develop the narrative that will eventually feature in our Living Library. Here, Tamara Bruning describes what happened at the campfire hosted by COACH Beacon City of Ghent.

What was the purpose?

Market dialogue is the right tool to ensure that the buying organisation has a sound knowledge of what the market can or cannot offer. The campfire meetings from City of Ghent consisted of a customer and market consultation. On this basis, the City of Ghent will determine the scope of the new public contract, geared to what the customer wants to buy, what the producers (suppliers) can offer and how they can do this (all within the framework of the City of Ghent’s food and purchasing strategy).

What happened?

The dialogue exercise took place between 17 and 24 September 2021. The City consulted both the customer side (to map out their strategies and what they want to buy) and the market.

For the market analysis they chose to focus the attention on online purchasing platforms that bring customers together with a large number of producers in the short-supply-chain.

They identified four companies that were questioned separately on different aspects: which products are available on the platform, what the delivery times are, how the logistics are carried out, the position of participating producers/farmers towards this type of public contract, the position of the platform with regard to such government contracts, the ability to deliver the requested quantities, and so on.

Why was it useful and significant for COACH?

This campfire was a fruitful exercise which showed that an open consultation with the production side can improve the procurement planning and better tailor the tender documents. The analysis carried out helped to get a clearer understanding of how they could translate customers and producers’ needs into a public contract.

This analysis is valuable because it can be shared and used by other organisations that purchase within the framework of the Belgian Public Procurement Act and wants to implement a shorter supply chain.

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