News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:24:40 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb TUCO members return from US study tour

A group of TUCO members, representing eight different UK universities, have recently returned from a study tour to Boston and New York to look at universities operating both in-house and contracted catering services. 


The tour was lead by Simon Peat, managing director of Inside Foodservice, and aimed to give members an insight into educational catering facilities across the water. 


On arriving in the US, the team were given a talk at Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) by managing director, David Davidson, and the director for strategic initiatives and communication, Crista Martin.


The talk walked members through the services and operations of over 14 dining sites including 'Crimson Catering' their fine dining and event catering business, a Koshe Kitchen and various other retail outlets.


The Harvard team shared some of their amazing initiatives, such as the healthy eating pyramid which informs students of the mix of foods they should eat to ensure health and well being.


The team also told of their 'Food Literacy' programme that helps inform customers of the provenance of food, its health benefits and also its sustainability in terms of our ongoing consumption. 


The group visited three other universities during the tour, including Boston University, Boston College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


After the university visits were over, the members visited New York City to explore unique food concepts, street food markets and dishes from around the world.


Campus Life joined TUCO on the tour to take some video footage of the experience which will be available for viewing soon.


"The study tour was one of the most interesting learning and development opportunities I have ever had," says Matt White, Head of Catering at The University of Reading.


"We saw such a huge range of different operations and you couldn’t not be inspired. It was hugely entertaining – the group jelled really well and we had lots of fun and didn’t stop laughing.


"The whole party would like to make special thanks to TUCO, the TUCO Board, Campus Life  and Simon Peat for making this tour such afantastic experience.


"I would urge everyone who has the opportunity to join a study tour like this as it is learn-a-minute in a frantic and fun-filled atmosphere!"

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:31:24 +0000
Hot Beverage Dispensing Equipment & Ingredients Supplier Vending Assessment 2014

We've launched the TUCO Hot Beverage Dispensing Equipment & Ingredients Supplier Vending Assessment 2014. These Vendor Assessment surveys are designed to capture your feedback on the level of service which you are currently getting from the suppliers which you have opted to use.

If you are using this framework then please, as the end user, spare a few minutes to complete the survey. TUCO will then discuss the results and any comments made with the suppliers when we meet with them at the annual Contract Review Meetings which are being held at the TUCO office later this year.

To complete the survey simply click on the link here;

The closing date for the survey is close of play on the 18th November.

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:33:31 +0000
The Guardian's University Awards return for 2015

The annual University Awards are soon to return and TUCO is urging its member to get involved and share some of their achievements and successes by entering the awards. 


The University Awards, run by The Guardian, is an annual celebration of the work carried out by various departments within an institute.


With many members eligible for various awards, TUCO is encouraging its members to share their successes and enter the awards.


The awards aim to give UK universities the opportunity to highlight their achievements to the global community. Showcase best practice, achievement and innovation across a range of categories, the awards act as a sector benchmark, offering universities a seal of approval for their outstanding work.


This year, four new categories have been added to the list of awards, making 14 in total. For a detailed description of each of the awards, please click here.


Entries should be focused around a specific initiative, campaign or project, within the Guardian's outlined categories and the applications will be judged by an expert panels of judges.


All shortlisted entries will be invited to attend the awards ceremony in central London in March 2015, where the winners will be announced.


For more information, or to enter, please click here.



Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:09:55 +0000
TUCO partners up for Footprint Forum

Footprint has launched a sustainability forum, in partnership with TUCO, which will see the higher education sector gather in London in December.


The Footprint Forum follows the Higher Education Special Edition of Footprint publication, also in association with TUCO. In the special edition of Footprint, which you can download here, you will find comprehensive updates on how sustainability sits and is being furthered within higher and further education. 


Off the back of this, the Footprint Forum: Ethics in Education, will take place on the 8th of December at Woburn House, London.


Footprint Forum convened in March of 2011 to discuss "Preparing for a change in the ethical landscape". Much of what was predicted at this forum has since been realised, short of the amalgamation of a number of marques that seem to be competing yet offering the same thing.


Footprint Forum seeks to further this debate with the objective of giving members access to thought-leadership that will allow for the right decisions to be made and actions to be taken.


The education sector has upheld the importance of ethics in the sustainability debate more than any other - in many cases acting as an incubator. Higher and further education provides the perfect environment to distil the objective narrative and options that the whole industry should be striving for.


The forum will commence on December 8th at Woburn House, London, WC1H 9HG, followed by Christmas drinks and networking. 


To book your place, click here.

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:27:54 +0000
URBAN release new Christmas range

URBAN eat has released a range of five ‘Limited Edition' Christmas Specials ready for the upcoming festive period.


The new range features all of the traditional favourites, including Turkey Feast Sandwich and Brie & Bacon Wrap as well as more contemporary options such as the Boxing Day Panini and top tier Posh Nosh White Stilton & Festive Chutney Sandwich.


"Our monthly ‘Limited Edition' specials are already hugely popular and I am sure that the new Christmas products will prove no exception," comments brand manager, Isla Owen.


There is plenty of choice to appeal to a wide range of tastes and all of the products look and taste absolutely fantastic."


The brand has also unveiled plans to launch a new ‘Crafty Kids' Advent promotion that will see it give away thousands of pounds worth of art materials during the course of December.


"Historically our promotions have been predominantly focussed on our student following however having now secured extensive listings across all sectors, we have decided to do something that will appeal to a wider demographic," Isla adds.


Full details will shortly be released on URBAN eat's Facebook page.






Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:13:54 +0000
Craft Guild celebrates 50th anniversary with commemorative book

As part of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ 50th anniversary celebrations, a commemorative book has been produced highlighting the association’s story so far.


The Golden Review and Desk Diary showcases some of the UK’s culinary greats, as well as spotlight on one Craft Guild member whose historical collection includes priceless royal menus.


National chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Christopher Basten, said the book was part of a wider line-up of celebrations to mark the landmark anniversary.


“Fittingly, the first 50 pages tell the story of the Craft Guild’s inception at a meeting held on 26th July 1965 and follows its growth into the UK’s leading association for chefs,” he comments.


“Informative, interesting and at times humorous, it’s a beautiful commemoration that has been meticulously pieced together to give readers a taste of the Guild’s history and it sets the tone not only for the future of the Craft Guild of Chefs, but for the craft as an inspirational career for all those who choose to travel its path.


“What is particularly poignant for us is that we are celebrating our 50th anniversary year during what can only be described a golden era for chefs in this country.”  


The book features messages from HRH The Countess of Wessex, the Guild’s Patron, and the Master of the Royal Household, Vice Admiral Anthony Johnstone-Burt CB OBE and the Guild’s president.


The second half of the book is a desk diary, supported by 27 premium suppliers.


For more information about the Golden Review and Desk Diary, which is available to buy for £20, email Fran at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:57:18 +0000
Keele University hits zero landfill waste target

Keele University has reached its target to send none of its waste directly to landfill by August 2014.


The ambitious target was set by the university in November 2010 following a review of its waste management. It has since worked with Biffa Waste Services Ltd to divert all waste on campus in an environmentally friendly way. 


“By the end of the 2013 academic year alone, we were recycling 40% of the waste on campus,” said Huw Evans, environmental manager at Keele.



“With our new partnership we’ve hit our target of zero waste-to-landfill before the start of this academic year – a great reward for four years of hard work.


"And that’s down to efforts across the campus – students and staff included.”


As part of the project, halls of residences and university catering buildings installed extra bins to separate dry recyclables, glass and waste at the first step of the waste chain.


Any remaining waste is managed by Biffa, who process it in a sustainable way.

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:32:45 +0000
Bidvest 3663 announces 2015 sustainability targets

Bidvest 3663 has announced its sustainability and CSR targets for the year ahead in a newly published report. 


The report, The Road we Travel, highlights the company’s progress against a number of sustainability targets that it set itself last year, covering areas such as healthy eating, waste, transport, products, environment, supply chain, people and community.


New targets for 2014/15 include introducing 100 new Euro trucks to reduce carbon emissions, ensure that more than 50% of all Bidvest 3663 Own Brand product range meets or exceeds the Government’s  2017 salt targets, and supply all Own Brand products in packaging that complies with the new EU Food Information Regulations by December 2014.


“We take the time and effort to compile a sustainability report on an annual basis, so our customers can be sure that we take our sustainability policies seriously and our processes can make it easier for them to achieve their targets in terms of environmental responsibility,” said Shirley Duncalf, head of safety and sustainability.


To access the report, visit

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:16:19 +0000
Bisto supports British Sausage Week

To celebrate British Sausage Week, which this year is taking place between the 3rd and 9th of November, Bisto is launching a competition giving chefs the opportunity to win £500 worth of high street vouchers and a full set of professional kitchen knives. 


In order to be in with a chance to win, chefs must download the Bisto's new online recipe guide, which showcases the versatility of the traditional British banger.


Packed full of exclusive new recipes created by Mark Rigby, Premier Foods' award winning Executive Chef, including Celeriac and Kale Stew and Sausage Fondue, the online recipe booklet also contains exclusive research revealing that 67% of chefs make sausages from scratch. 


The research also shows that 82% of chefs think that incorporating seasonal events onto menus helps drive sales.


When downloading the online recipe book, chefs will automatically be entered into the Bisto competition. 


"As proud supporters of the event for the second year running, we can’t wait to see the start of another British Sausage Week," says Mark Rigby.


"As the nation’s favourite gravy, Bisto, continues to deliver fantastic results and is a classic accompaniment to sausages, a traditional and popular dish that both chefs and consumers continue to enjoy.


"British Sausage Week should be recognised as a great way for caterers to increase business. Our products are the crucial component in creating enticing dishes, attracting new customers and ensuring regulars are impressed.”


For further information, recipes, or to enter the competition, visit


For more information on British Sausage Week, visit




Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:39:54 +0000
Nottingham Trent chef receives British Empire Medal

Ivan Hopkins, head of catering and hospitality at Nottingham Trent University, received his British Empire Medal last month following the announcement in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Hopkins, who was awarded the medal in recognition of his services to higher education, was presented with the accolade by Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace at a ceremony at County Hall.


Speaking to the Nottingham Post, he said: "It is really touching that someone has taken the time to submit an application on my behalf. My heart was beating really fast when the Lord Lieutenant was reading out the citation."


Hopkins has worked at the university for 18 years. Alongside his responsibility for catering across all the institution's food outlets, he uses his skills to teach students about healthy eating and undertakes educational catering demonstrations.

Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:42:12 +0000