SBRI: The Sustainable Production & Supply of Food Challenge, Cardiff

Cardiff Council in collaboration with Monmouthshire County Council are seeking to identify and support projects to develop innovative solutions which can significantly improve the sustainable production and supply of food. The Challenge looks for applicants to harness the potential of land, technology and people to increase the sustainable production and supply of locally grown food in the Cardiff Capital Region.

Opportunity Details


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Phase 1 (feasibility) contracts will be for a duration of 4 months and up to £50,000 (inc. VAT) per project (8 contracts expected). A total of £2,150,000 (incl VAT) is available to fund all 3 phases.


Welsh Government

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Cardiff Council in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council are delivering this project with funding from Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and Welsh Government and supported by the SBRI Centre of Excellence.

Cardiff Council and Monmouthshire County Council recognise that the way we produce, supply and consume food in the future will play a major part in determining how successful we are in living up to the unprecedented challenges that face us in terms of the climate change emergency, biodiversity loss and diet-related illness. Shifting our food and farming system to capitalise on our local assets presents enormous opportunities for the health of our economy, people and the planet.

The Challenge requires applicants to clearly demonstrate:

  • Problem 1: how they will increase the sustainable production of food in the region and generate positive economic, social and environmental impacts.
  • Problem 2: how they will increase the supply of nutritious, locally grown food whilst ensuring a fair price for producers and the wellbeing of future generations.

We are interested in receiving applications that address both problems and would encourage partnerships between applicants to realise this. However, we may consider solutions that address one of the problems if it is clearly justified and supported by sound evidence to be an innovative and pragmatic solution.

We are interested in sustainable food production and supply chain solutions which can be applied to the public sector (e.g., school meal provision, NHS meals), the private and third sector to maximise commercial opportunities.

How can solutions help with these challenges?

We believe that innovative solutions could:

  • Provide greater access to healthy, nutritious food;
  • Provide better quality food which will improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in Wales;
  • Create more resilient food supply chains that focus on more open and equitable partnerships;
  • Improve capabilities throughout the supply chain so that the sector delivers competitive and sustainable products that meet the needs of future generations;
  • Create an efficient supply chain which could be interpreted beyond economic cost-and-benefit to include social and environmental considerations;
  • Support place based economic development and local wealth building in the CCR; and
  • Protect, and where possible enhance, soil health, water quality and biodiversity.

Challenge Targets and Measurements of Success

Applicants should consider the targets and metrics of the Challenge when proposing their solutions. We appreciate that some solutions will not be able to contribute to all of the metrics detailed, however, applicants should clearly be able to demonstrate the ability to contribute to the target:

Problem 1 Target – By 2025, we will have increased healthy, low carbon food production using a variety of innovative growing methods. We will have improved access to land resources to support production and increased consumption of local food.


  • An increase in local sustainable food production;
  • An increase in land use for sustainable food production in the Region;
  • An increase in food related employment that pays at least the National minimum wage.

Problem 2 Target – By 2025, we will have an increased supply of nutritious, locally grown food.


  • An increase in locally sourced food;
  • An increase in the volume of locally grown food that is sourced and distributed by wholesalers;
  • An increase in the number of short food supply chains;
  • An increase in the opportunities for growers/SMEs to supply the ‘Public Plate’;
  • A decrease in food waste demonstrated by improved supply and demand models.

Please Note:

1) Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution although we may choose to investigate and explore innovative procurement routes as part of this challenge.

Out of Scope

  • Analytical techniques.
  • High carbon (i.e. carbon footprint) foods.
  • Highly processed food.
  • Food which is predominantly produced for the export market and cannot be used for local use.

Phases and funding

The competition will run in three phases (subject to viable solutions coming from earlier phases).

Phase 1 is intended to show the feasibility of the proposed concept. Development contracts will be for a duration of 4 months and up to £50,000 (inc. VAT) per project. It is anticipated that up to 8 feasibility studies will be funded. The final number of projects awarded will be dependent on the quality of the submissions.

Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration proposals from the more promising solutions identified in Phase 1, and it is anticipated that projects will run for 12 months. Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible to apply for Phase 2. Approximately £800,000 (inc. VAT) of funding has been assigned to this phase and can be awarded to one or more projects.

Phase 3 contracts are intended to provide organisations, successful in Phase 2, with an opportunity to scale up their innovative solutions, and it is anticipated that projects will run for a maximum of 12 months. Approximately £1,000,000 (inc. VAT) of funding has been assigned to this phase and can be awarded to one or more projects.

The total funding for the Challenge can change and the funders may adjust the provisional funding allocation between the Phases, and/or apply a portfolio approach.

A Briefing Event was held (online) on Tuesday 18th October 2022: click here to view the recording.

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