Producers in south-west England have a multi-million pound chance to sell food to Devon County Council.

The county is tendering for food and drink supplies to cover the next four years, and this time round it is keen to hear from small-scale local producers as well as foodservice companies.

Simon Richardson, head of procurement, said that the county wanted to buy healthier food for its children and old people.

“Rather than reheating food and offering Turkey Twizzlers, we want to return to food that really has to be cooked.

“People think we only want to work with the big companies – and they do have a role – but one of the council’s overall aims is to keep the money in the south west to help the local economy.”

At present, those interested in bidding are being encouraged just to make contact and register their details online at www.devontenders.gov.uk.

“If they don’t register by 19 June they’ve missed the boat for the next four years.”

The council aims to shortlist hopeful candidates and award the tender by February 2007.

For help with registration, email simon.richardson@devon.gov.uk.

Other public tenders can be found at www.tendersdirect.co.uk