News Sat, 04 Jul 2015 01:35:25 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb 500% jump in volume of recycled UK food waste
The volume of food waste being recycled through anaerobic digestion (AD) has jumped by almost 500% over the last five years, according to a new market report.


There are now 400 operational AD plants generating enough gas each year to produce the equivalent in electricity production of a nuclear power station.


Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ABDA) announced the milestone achievements in her opening remarks in the conference at today’s UK AD & Biogas 2015.


“Biogen’s sixth AD plant, unveiled last month, marks an industry milestone with 400 plants currently in operation and more coming online each month.


“Since the first UK AD & Biogas trade show five years ago, the industry has quintupled outside of the water sector. Across all AD’s sectors the industry now has a combined electrical equivalent capacity (electricity and biomethane) of almost 480 megawatts – equivalent to the capacity of one of the UK’s nuclear power plants, Wylfa, being decommissioned this year.


“But this is just the start – now is the time to step on the gas. With a favourable outcome from key policy decisions that need to be taken by the new government, ADBA’s market forecast estimates that industry could reach 500 plants by the end of the year and then potentially more than double by 2020.

“AD integrates particularly well into farming, making farmers more resilient against fluctuating agricultural markets, supporting food production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is enormous potential for on-farm AD to continue to grow over the coming years, with the right policy support.


“One of the most notable developments over the last year has been the rapidly developing biomethane market, with 33 gas-to-grid plants now in operation.


Biomethane helps decarbonise heating without the need for new infrastructure, and has a particular role in transport where there are few other options for heavy goods vehicles.


“The AD industry is already supporting 4,500 green jobs and generating a UK exports market in AD technology and expertise worth £100 million.”


ADBA’s new Market Report also shows that 60-100 new plants are likely to be commissioned in 2015 and 1.6 million tonnes of food waste are now being recycled through AD compared to 0.3-0.4 million tonnes in 2010.


But the report authors also point out that waste policy in England is holding up investment compared to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


They say: “The sector faces real challenges from 2016, but with reasonable policy changes the sector could still deliver at least 500 more plants by 2020.


“AD already brings in at least £50m-£100m to the UK in exports, and employs 4,500 people, but the industry has the potential to deliver 30% of the UK’s domestic gas demand.


“That’s the equivalent of providing enough fuel to run 60% of the UK’s bus fleet and the technology could reduce the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 4%.”

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:45:11 +0000
Join the TUCO team - Contracts Assistant vacancy

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) exists to support their community in the pursuit of catering excellence.  We value:


  • Transparency - in everything we do, we aim to be open, visible and approachable
  • Integrity - we always aim to do the right thing for our community
  • Equality - we will act in a non-judgmental way and treat all people fairly
  • Teamwork - we work together to share knowledge and support each other to grow as a team
  • Commitment - working hard and effectively to deliver our services


We are a not-for-profit membership organisation for in-house catering within higher and further education.  TUCO is looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic individual to complement our growing team.  As a Contracts Assistant you will join an established team of four category managers who are responsible for managing contracts with spend of over £140 million per year. 


In return we offer a relaxed and pleasant working environment; generous holiday entitlement, pension, flexible working and opportunity for further learning and development.


If you share our values and have the right skill set to make a difference to our community please send your CV with a concise covering letter/email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Your covering letter/email should show how you worked in accordance with our values.


For further information about the role and TUCO please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The closing date for applications is 16.00pm Friday 10th July.



JOB DESCRIPTION for Contracts Assistant



£19,632.00 to £21,391.00      


WORKING HOURS:             

36.25 hours per week, Monday to Friday

(flexible working policy in place)







 (subject to 12 months probationary period)


RESPONSIBLE TO:             

Chief Operating Officer


EFFECTIVE FROM:             






To provide administrative support to the contracting team in the management and promotion of TUCO’s framework agreements.




  1. To assist in the preparation of tender documentation.


  1. To provide administrative support to the contracting team during tender evaluations.


  1. Assist in the preparation and evaluation of questionnaires for use in contract review meetings.


  1. Administer the tender documents via electronic tendering platform.


  1. Plan, arrange and administer meetings to support the work of the contracting team; including, but not limited to:


  1. Tender Working Party Meetings
  2. Contract Review Meetings.


  1. Ensure all supplier documentation is current and valid through the administration of the contracts database.


  1. Appropriate engagement with customers ensuring timely responses to enquiries and provide advice as directed by the contracting team.


  1. Assist in the undertaking of benchmarking by requesting the data from suppliers. 


  1. Work with staff from member institutions to ensure that TUCO members achieve the highest possible standards in probity and compliance throughout all aspects of their contracting activities including compliance with TUCO’s Ethical Code.


  1. In addition to the duties and responsibilities listed, the post holder is required to perform other duties assigned by the Chief Operating Officer consistent with the post.


Whilst at work all staff are required to:


  • Take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by the acts and omissions.
  • Abide with TUCO’s policies and procedures for health and safety.
  • Think and act sustainably and in accordance with TUCO’s values.







How Determined

Professional/Technical Qualifications

GCSE Maths & English at level C or above or equivalent.


Educated to A-level standard or equivalent


Business Admin qualification










CV & Interview


CV & Interview

Experience & Job Knowledge

Minimum of 12 months experience in an administrative role


Experienced user of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint


Understanding of higher education and/or the public sector


Experience of working in a Procurement department / organisation


Previous experience of tendering procedures


Knowledge of public sector procurement and EU regulations



























CV or  Interview


CV or Application Form & Interview


CV or  Interview



CV or  Interview



CV  & Interview


CV  & Interview





Skills & Competencies

Good time management with the ability to prioritise and meet strict deadlines.


Solve problems using a proactive approach


Good analytical and IT skills














Personal Qualities

Good communication skills (written and oral) and capable of dealing with staff of all levels.


Must be able to work unsupervised.


Prepared to work as part of a team.


Commitment towards the TUCO values


Embraces learning & development activities












CV  & Interview













Prepared to undertake occasional travel around the UK and work flexible hours as required.










Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:58:30 +0000
Expression of Interest - Temporary Catering Staff

TUCO have now launched the Expression of Interest for the upcoming Temporary Catering Staff Framework


If you are potentially interested in using the new framework – can you please go to the link below and complete the survey?


The Survey should not take more than a few minutes to complete and will be open until the 1st September 2015.


Many thanks for your help with this and if you have any queries, please either ring the TUCO Office at 0161 713 3420 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:00:19 +0000
Wrap looks to challenge catering industry's sustainability
WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) plans to drive a ‘step change’ in the sustainable production of food and drink products, the reduction of waste, and helping people to eat well and save money, according to its chief executive Liz Goodwin.


“We all need to adapt to changing circumstances and shifts in the external operating environment.


“WRAP has taken its own advice. We have taken action to evolve our future by becoming a charity, diversifying our funding base and embracing more new ways of working.


“Actions matter. If we don’t tackle the issues we collectively face, the world will be a poorer place and the future for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be impaired. We have a collective responsibility to address pressing global problems and leave a positive legacy,” she said.


With that in mind WRAP’s 2020 goals are:


* Help people eat well and waste less
* Encourage food businesses to reduce resource risks and the impact of food and drink products across their lifecycle
* Increase the amount of perfectly edible food for
redistribution, ensuring more people in need are fed
*Reduce waste of carbon, water and materials across
the supply chain


Goodwin added: “Food and drink production and consumption in the UK today account for 20% of territorial greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of our total water footprint in the country and £19bn worth of waste a year.”


To reduce these figures she is urging food producers and the catering and hospitality industry to reduce the environmental impact of food production, help consumers improve their relationship with food and re-think what is possible in getting ‘best value’ from unavoidable food waste.

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:32:18 +0000
Catering managers say better stock control could save costs
New independent research by eProcurement technology specialist Caternet has found catering and hospitality managers believe ‘more accurate inventory and stock control’ would reduce wastage – the biggest drain on profit – and improve cost control.


Asked to cite which top three actions would improve their cost control most, more than half cited stock, closely followed by 45% who wanted to be in a position to negotiate better rates with suppliers.


More than a third also suggested having allocated spending allowances that couldn’t be overridden without consent would stop people overspending without approval.


Jerry Brand, managing director at Caternet said: “It’s interesting to see that regardless of how far we have come in this industry, we still seem to make the same old mistakes time and again.


“Food wastage alone is at an all-time high right now, the fact is, businesses must learn from this.  We know that cash is king in this sector so we have to come down hard on waste management, price hikes and stock control if we are to claw back lost revenue.”


The survey also discovered that 23% of the industry believes that poor cost control stems from too much time spent on administration and paperwork as opposed to putting greater focus on budgets and costs.


Brand added: “Supplier negotiation is another key area where the hospitality industry can shave costs and regain control of spend.


“Far too many people worry about price comparisons when the silent killer for margin through higher costs is price creep. The future for eProcurement is to have suppliers participate in managing their agreed products and prices with each business.


“That way, the business is protected from price creep and margin reduction, the industry uses the quality suppliers they want, the customer pays the right price and their loyalty grows – but the catering and hospitality industry needs access to the right information to boost powers of negotiation; that is where the right technology can help.”

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:19:08 +0000
Coca-Cola unveils first veg-based PET bottle

The new and improved PlantBottle uses patented technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET plastic bottles. According to the Coca-Cola Company, ‘the packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its scarce resources.’


Coca-Cola hopes to use the technology for a variety of packaging sizes and across water, sparkling, juice and tea beverage brands.


Today, the company uses sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process to create PlantBottle packaging. Both materials meet the Coca-Cola Company’s established sustainability criteria used to identify plant-based ingredients for PlantBottle material. These include demonstrating improved environmental and social performance as well as avoiding negative impacts on food security.


Since the 2009 launch, the Coca-Cola Company has distributed more than 35 billion bottles in nearly 40 countries using its current version of PlantBottle packaging which is made from up to 30% plant-based materials. It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging since launch has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:31:52 +0000
Bunzl closes loop on resource management for operators with environmental partnerships

The business will work with the organisations to bring hospitality and catering operators an exclusive resource management and recycling solution which is credible, transparent and cost effective.


CLES has one aim, to divert resources from landfill on a journey to zero waste. SWS handle over 55,000 collections every month, whilst facilitating the processing of over 60,000 tonnes of waste and recycling materials every year, with the aim to reduce the carbon footprint of its customers.


Having conducted extensive research amongst customers, Bunzl Catering Supplies identified that for many, wasted resource was predominantly going into general waste streams, when in fact what they wanted was a solution for recycling different material types. In addition, customers were also extremely aware of the growing costs surrounding sending waste to landfill which in turn, was affecting profits.


Paul Willcocks, Director Exclusive Brands, Bunzl Catering Supplies comments: “According to a recent article in the Financial Times, with statistics by Allegra Strategies, 1.7bn cups of coffee are currently being sold each year in the UK, from more than 18,000 outlets, which is set to grow to almost 21,000 by 2020. What this tells us is that disposable hot cups are being sold into a sector which will continue to enjoy considerable market growth, so it is imperative for us a major supplier to this sector that we find a proven solution for hospitality and catering operators to manage this waste stream. We analysed our customer’s waste streams against materials and volumes, and it is clear that the grab-and-go culture sweeping the UK shows no sign of abating, which means that the current issues operators’ face around the disposal of food and drink packaging waste is not going to go away.


He continues: “We have set ourselves the target to work hand-in-hand with them to transform waste into a valuable resource, whilst changing misconceptions surrounding it. By partnering with Closed Loop Environmental Solutions and Simply Waste Solutions, we can provide operators with a proven solution for resource management and recycling, whilst also providing them with valuable data on how much of their waste has been sent for recycling and indeed how much waste has actually been recycled, to assist them in meeting their own sustainability policies.”


Peter Goodwin, Managing Director, Closed Loop Environmental Solutions commented: “We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with Bunzl Catering Supplies, which will allow our business to bring our proven solutions for resource, recovery and recycling to a vast amount of operators across the UK. We’re very much looking forward to working with the business as we continue in our drive to make a significant environmental difference for operators.”

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:26:21 +0000
The University of Winchester receives gold standard

The University of Winchester has always adopted a proactive approach when providing for their students, staff and visitors.  This has won them several awards over the years especially in relation to their sustainability policies.  When the NEW food allergy labelling regulations were about to come into force, David Morton, Catering Manager at the University decided to be a trail blazer and set the standard for other Universities to follow.  The aim was to provide an inclusive policy for students with special dietary requirements to ensure they felt safe in their environment and guaranteeing they always have a choice. 


In conjunction with the Food Allergy Training Consultancy the University has adapted its menus, reviewed and trained all food handlers to CIEH, Level 2 Food Allergy Aware certification standard.  Because of this the Food Allergy Training Consultancy has awarded the University of Winchester a Gold Standard ‘Certificate of Achievement’  By investing in their staff and resources the University ensures they can provide not only a safe meal, but a positive dining experience for the food allergy, food intolerant and coeliac customer.


The University actively promotes their allergen policy at student open days, events and on their website including a dedicated email address to contact the catering team with any requests and concerns they may have.  For the last two years the University has also supported the Anaphylaxis Campaign on their Orange Wig Day to actively highlight the issues of severe allergic reactions.


David Morton Catering Manager at the University stated


“The University of Winchester catering team have always taken its role in food service seriously; whether it is ensuring that we only use ethical, meat in our recipes, support local suppliers and producers in sustainable practices or providing a diverse choice for those from different cultural and religious backgrounds.


At the outset we wrongly believed, like most caterers that we had a good knowledge and understanding of the main allergens. However, it became clear that we had just touched the surface; literally. When we learnt about potential cross contamination through deep fat fryers, clothing and incorrect storage methods, not to mention obscure allergens such as sulphur dioxide or lupin, we knew it was crucially important to get it right every time. 


We now treat our allergen based food very differently, in fact much like we treat raw meat and cooked meat; completely separately. Thereby, ensuring that when they finally come together for a dish we can accurately state the ingredients for our “free from” customers 


The training that Caroline Benjamin and her team provided has been invaluable to us. It ensures that we now not only better understand the needs of customers, but by developing new allergen ideas and recipes we can ensure that Free From food is an option and not just an afterthought” 


Benjamin stated


“This is a great achievement by the University and shows their commitment to inclusivity to all their customers no matter what their dietary requirements” 

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:14:18 +0000
Chefs admit lack of knowledge about black pepper
Santa Maria Foodservice, supplier of spices, has launched a new online pepper guide in response to research that shows chefs have a lack of knowledge about black pepper. 


Despite nine out of ten respondents considering black pepper an important ingredient and 78% of chefs using it in at least seven of their top ten selling dishes, 63% admit to having a lack of knowledge about black pepper.


The research was conducted by The Staff Canteen, a chef's website, on behalf of Santa Maria, and surveyed over 400 chefs.


Eimear Owens, country sales manager UK & Ireland, Santa Maria Foodservice, said: “Black pepper is the world’s most consumed spice but no-one has really told its story before.


“68% of chefs told us they want to know more about black pepper and are particularly interested in its taste, authenticity and provenance.


“So, we’ve produced a free online guide to give chefs the tools and inspiration to help them get the most out of the different types of peppers they use in their dishes.”


The Santa Maria Pepper Guide details how peppers vary and to best release the flavours of peppercorns.


To download the free Santa Maria Pepper Guide visit:

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:13:23 +0000
University Caterers are invited to take part in British Food Fortnight


University Caterers are invited to take part in

British Food Fortnight, 19th September - 4th October 2015


2015 marks the 13th year of British Food Fortnight which once again provides an opportunity for everyone involved in food production, processing and sales to talk about the benefits of buying and eating local and British.


Pubs and restaurants, cafes and canteens, farmers and fishmongers, are all called to arms to promote their industries and to celebrate with British menus, producer open days, special promotions and local food suppers. 


The British Food Fortnight promotion is proven to increase sales and heighten awareness for those who take part.

Why take part?


Taking part in British Food Fortnight has lots of potential for university caterers as it generates great PR, is proven to increase the number of people eating in restaurants and will establish a point of difference between your university outlets and those that serve only mainstream products.

What can you do?


1. Promote a special British Food Fortnight menu in your university restaurants or canteens for the Fortnight. Either enhance your existing menu or offer students a special British food promotion.

2. Offer cookery demonstrations for Freshers using simple recipes and guidance for students about where they can buy fresh, healthy, affordable ingredients.  Produce recipe cards they can take away with alternatives to beans and pasta!

3. Add a paragraph to the catering pages of the University website about your activities and menus during British Food Fortnight and provide advice on eating healthily and variedly.

4. Set up a stall at Fresher Fair to advertise the healthy benefits of British seasonal food and promote your menus.

5. Promote your participation in the national food promotion by using British Food Fortnight's promotional material to decorate your outlets.

6. Be Harvest Heroes and generate great PR!  Why not organise an entry into the British Food Fortnight Harvest Heroes Competition?  In association with the Telegraph we are on the search for people with passion - people who place British Food and the harvest and its’ celebration at the centre of their communities - to be crowned as Harvest Heroes.  The third year of the popular competition sees father and son team Raymond and Olivier Blanc join TV gardener Chris Collins as the competition judges.  The winners will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the new National Heritage Garden at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s Michelin Starred restaurant, and be featured in the Telegraph in the Autumn.   For information and how to enter visit


Why Hi-lighting British Food Matters.

Commentingon the event’s celebrations, organiser Alexia Robinson says: “Questions on food production, security and traceability have become increasingly important in recent years.  Simply put, British food matters.  The national food promotion British Food Fortnight is a time for the whole country to celebrate the wonderfully diverse and delicious food we produce.”


What resources are available for those taking part?


Keep a look out on for details of all the activities, lots of ideas for taking part and 14 things people can do - one for each day of British Food Fortnight - to join in the fun and bring British food into their homes and communities.  Check out our What’s Happening Map for foodie events taking place near you. Be the first to hear the news, follow the activities on Twitter @LoveBritishFood, #LoveBritishFood, Facebook: Love-British-Food


Where can you find out more?


To find out how you can take part, download promotional material and details of what is happening near you, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Keep us up to date!


If you are organising a promotion or event, don’t forget to let us know so that we can add you to our list of what’s happening, and tell our community about your work.   Email us, tweet us, Facebook us!

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 11:54:32 +0000