OXFORD-BASED family business Aldens Catering Butchers has won the contract to supply the Houses of Parliament in 2020.

Following a deal that allows Aldens to continue to invest in jobs, managing director Matthew Alden said it was ‘an exciting time to be involved with Aldens’.

Mr Alden said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Houses of Parliament from January.

“It allows us to continue our commitment to investment in our staff, customers, the local economy and the future of the company.”

Aldens Catering Butchers, part of the Aldens brand which also includes Aldens Meatmaster and Aldens Fishmarket, has been based in Oxfordshire for the entirety of its 227-year history.

The deal will allow Aldens to continue to invest in more jobs based at its state-of-the-art production facility in Osney Mead.

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Simon Warren, sales manager of Aldens, said: “It’s an exciting account for us, and to be supplying such a prestigious and historic organisation speaks volumes for the quality of produce and service we are able to provide.

“We start this week and the orders come from the individual sites of the parliamentary estate and then we label up the fresh meat for each individual sites - there are lots of different departments that do food on the estate.

“We supply it to a central distribution unit on the outskirts of London.

“Staff there have the security clearance to deliver to the Houses of Parliament.

Oxford Mail:

“We are using reusable trays which is better for the environment but we can’t use electric vehicles at the moment because there isn’t a big enough vehicle with a range to get to London and back without a charging point.”

Mr Warren said it was a four-year £3.6m contract shared with two other operators.

He added: “It’s a very lucrative and prestigious contract - some of the meat will be served to MPs.

“We saw the kitchen facilities and the dining facilities in the House of Lords.”

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Aldens was invited to tender for the contract.

Mr Warren said: “We have been after this contract for four years and it was third time lucky.

“We got the highest mark achievable out of all the suppliers.

“We have a big profile in London already and that worked in our favour, plus the heritage of the company.

“They recognised that we are a successful family firm.”

Founded in 1793, the company was based at Eastwyke Farm right up until the 1980s, and transported produce to their shop in Oxford’s Covered Market, where they had a presence until 2017.

Aldens already supplies many restaurants, hotels and schools in Oxfordshire, as well as the Oxford and Cambridge colleges.

The Houses of Parliament is not the first major contract Aldens has in London.

It already supplies several five-star hotels and restaurants.

Aldens Catering Butchers, one of the country’s oldest butchers, have been an Oxfordshire based company since they were founded in 1793 by Isaac Alden.

While much has changed over the past 227 years, Aldens has remained a family-owned business with traditional butchery methods and quality and service at the heart of everything it does.

Aldens provide high-quality produce to restaurants, pubs, schools, colleges and universities around the country every day.

The Aldens brand, which includes Aldens Meatmaster, Aldens Fishmarket and bistro Fish4Lunch as well as Aldens Catering Butchers, is based in Osney Mead.

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In April last year the company invested £25,200 in a Nissan e-NV200 electric van and wants its whole fleet to be electric within five years as Oxford moves towards a zero emissions zone.

Mr Alden said earlier: “Electric vehicles are the next logical step - we are thrilled to be moving with the times.

“While electric vehicles have been around a long time the technology for refrigerated electric vehicles is still new.

“We want to make our customers more aware of greener delivery methods and help to fulfil Oxford’s ZEZ commitment.

“This is a massive step forward for Aldens.”

The company is making every effort to go green and recycles about 100 tonnes of cardboard and plastic a year.

Where possible, it uses local suppliers to reduce food miles and minimise the impact of transport.

It also regularly reviews and improves delivery routes to customers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution.

A spokesman said: “We have made sustainability a high priority for the business over the next 5 years.

“We are fully committed to minimising our environmental impact.

"Having already made significant changes, we regularly review and invest in improvements, always seeking opportunities to minimise energy use and waste generation.”