News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:02:04 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Matthew Algie secures funding to develop Ugandan coffee

Matthew Algie has secured financial backing through the Fair Development Fund (FDF) to sustainably grow the Ugandan coffee industry.

The six-figure award from the FDF – a fund run by Comic Relief and Sainsbury’s to support small scale farmers working in developing countries – the Gumutindo Sustainability Project will improve coffee quality and farming practices.

The company will work with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Eastern Uganda and ethical trading organisation, Twin, to deliver the project. Matthew Algie will assist farmers in the Mount Elgon in becoming triple certified with Fairtrade, Rainforest Allliance and organic.

“We want to use our expertise to support the implementation of change across the board,” said Matthew Algie’s Technical Director, Ewan Reid. “From simple enhancements such as improved harvesting and coffee cherry processing that will develop the quality of the coffee, right down to buying and roasting the coffee - with a view to Sainsbury’s cafés brewing it for their customers - we are looking forward to working with farmers on this exciting new project.”

The initiative will support climate adaptation and will increase capacity and improve coffee quality, meaning more coffee can be sold at better prices.  

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:03:38 +0000
Downing College gets Gold in Green Tourism

Downing College Cambridge has been given a Gold Award for its outstanding performance as a Green Tourism site for conference business.

The Collect was scored across 10 categories, including its use of environmentally-friendly paper, cleaning products and toiletries, to the the provision of gardens with trees and plants to encourage wildlife and insects.

Judges commended the College’s use of sourcing local, organic, vegetarian and Fairtrade foods within the catering operation, as well as the adoption of low energy lighting throughout the accommodation.

“We are thrilled to have achieved a Gold Award for our green performance to date and are looking forward to strengthening our commitment going forward,” commented Jacqui Cressey, conference services manager at Downing College. “Membership of the Green Tourism Business Scheme will be an important selling point for our conferences and events business.

“However, achieving this accolade doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels – we already have plans in place to look at other areas where we can improve still further, including the development of a Green Events Package.”

Other green schemes at the College include a ground source heat pump at the Howard Theatre, solar thermal array and toilets fed by rainwater.

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:37:47 +0000
Freshers Week Promotions Launched

Frehers Week is coming up again and with that in mind - we've gone to the TUCO Suppliers and asked them what promotions they have available for this time.


Go to the TUCO Promotions section to see how they responded - its at

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:27:31 +0000
Meiko launch campaign ‘rated as outstanding’

The compnay’s in-house communication department worked closely with the advertising agency agenturwitt from Freiburg on a brand relaunch strategy designed to highlight the company's leadership as an established brand for professional dishwashing, cleaning and disinfection.

 "We took our cue from the fountain which has been anchored in the Meiko logo since 1927 as a source of purity and clarity and built that into a globally relevant Meiko brand strategy,” explained Jan Adolph, creative director at Meiko. “The new brand environment focuses on the fountain as a social hub and as a symbol of Meiko's clean solutions."

The renowned Hamburg-based photographer Florian Geiss was one of the key figures who worked on the brand campaign. The campaign was used across print, digital, events, PR and promotions. The judges were particularly impressed by the multimedia ‘Beauty Case’, which was presented to selected customers to mark the product launch. It was an elaborate case featuring a hologram on the exterior and including a brochure, a DVD, newsletter and pen gift set.

Commenting on the news, Bill Downie, managing director of Meiko UK, said: “Many UK distributors and customers have visited Meiko in Germany and seen for themselves the iconic fountain outside the main entrance which inspired this incredible series of photos.”

To view the photography and ‘Beauty of Cleaning’ photography, head to Meiko’s new look website at

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:30:01 +0000
Healthy eating could be part of Food for Life Catering Mark

The Soil Association, which runs the scheme, has opened a public consultation on the proposals to limit the use of salt and make healthier drinks more widely available, in line with public health guidance.

The two proposed standards are:

  • Salt is not available after cooking (except on request), staff are trained in salt reduction and recipes are designed to minimise salt use.
  • Healthier drinks are promoted and the availability of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks is limited.

The consultation will remain open until 6th October and all caterers, food businesses, nutritionists, public health professionals and members of the public are invited to comment. The proposals are most relevant to caterers in universities, workplaces, visitor attractions and restaurants.

The standards are supported by detailed guidance for caterers to show how they are meeting them. Limiting the use of salt includes removing salt from tables, changing recipes to make use of healthier natural flavours and providing staff education about ingredients which may be high in salt.

The proposed new standard to encourage people to choose healthier drinks would call for healthier drinks such as milk and water to be placed at eye level in display cabinets. Portion sizes of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks would be limited to 330ml. The Soil Association is also consulting on a limit to the portion size of pure fruit juices and smoothies.

“The Catering Mark Standards offer a framework to recognise and reward caterers who serve fresh, healthier meals,” said Mike Bond, Catering Mark manager. “Our independent Standards Committee - made up of a wide range of industry experts - works to ensure that the Catering Mark Standards address public health priorities and ensure food is fresh, better for animal welfare and local economies.”

This committee will consider the findings of the consultation at its autumn meeting and any resulting changes will be announced in winter 2015. Sufficient time would be given to Catering Mark holders to adapt to any new standards.

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:20:53 +0000
Line-up announced for Speciality and Fine Food Fair Skillery

Four chefs will take to the floor of the Fine Food Forum on Tuesday 9th September, the final day of the event, for live cookery demonstrations.

Guild master craftsmen Rob Kennedy and Ben Bartlett will be joined by Harrods’ Allister Bishop and Guild chairman Christopher Basten.

Hosted by the Craft Guild of Chefs chief executive officer, Martin Bates, the day of demonstrations will start with celebrity chef Ben Bartlett, also known as Barbecue Ben after winning the very first Britain’s Best BBQ’er competition at the British Barbecue Championships in 2003. The title of his session will be ‘New flavours, great taste…and British Sharks’.

Then, Bishop will give an ‘insight into luxury retail and hospitality’. With 28 restaurants and 4 Food Halls in store, the Harrods Food offering is hugely diverse and constantly innovative. As part of Allister’s demonstration he will showcase some of the dishes and techniques used within this world renowned retail operation.

Basten will lead the Guild’s golden anniversary celebrations by showcasing the work of the industry’s leading skills and training organisation.

Then, Rob Kennedy’s session ‘ Party’ will see the executive chef at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurt rustle up some good looking bowl food and snacks to share with families and friends.

This year’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair takes place on 7th to 9th September at London Olympia. For more information, visit

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:16:57 +0000
TUCO publishes its Annual Report

Share, Learn, Buy and Grow are the four guiding principles that underpins the work of TUCO and this has helped the organisation develop over the past 12 months in various ways. All of TUCO’s activities over the past year can now be seen in its Annual Report, available to download at Hard copies of the report were also distributed at the TUCO Conference in July.

The report is a vital tool for caterers to read and discover more about the organisation of which they are members. It lists all of the great benefits that come with being a member, explains all of the eight different TUCO regions and lists each regional chair, it provides a biography of the TUCO Board of Directors – including TUCO’s newly appointed chief operating officer, Mike Haslin – and reveals the team behind the front line, who help to make TUCO the success it is.

One of the biggest achievements of the past year has been the enhancements TUCO has made to its Learning and Development Group, and the Annual Report provides more details for members on what it has achieved in the past 12 months and what to look out for in the coming months.

Elsewhere, the report highlight’s TUCO key achievements of 2013/14 and lists all of the key strategic alliances it has formed during this time, that will lead TUCO into a truly successful 2014/15.

To read the TUCO Annual Report, download your digital copy here.

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:46:21 +0000
Project work begins on catering at the University of Liverpool

The £140,000 installation project will see new catering facilities across multiple floors of the history 1930s building on Finsbury Square, including a cold room and freezer room and new food storage facilities in the basement; a servery area on the ground floor; and a seventh floor kitchen and dishwashing area. The servery counters are ‘monolithic’ in style and have satin polished stainless steel worktops and fascia panels.

Access will be a challenge for the installers, as all the equipment needed for the higher floors will be lifted to the first floor before being transferred to an external hoist to take them to the seventh floor.

The team working on the site will also be helping the Make a Wish foundation during the length of the project. A breakout room has been set up for the workers, with all proceeds raised going to the charity, a target of £6,000.

The second project for the university is to provide production facilities, student bars, food service areas and a café at the Student's Union buildings in Liverpool. This will be completed later this year.

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:51:56 +0000
Should wholesale eggs include best before date?

The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has said that wholesalers should use best before dates in order to guarantee quality, freshness and food safety, noting that many eggs sold by wholesaler, including those that are imported, often do not display a date on the shell and are stocked on keyes trays, raising concerns about how operators can accurately identify the freshness of the eggs they are purchasing. There is no legal requirement for eggs to have a best before date.

Chairman of the BEIC Andrew Joret, said: “The lack of best-before dates on egg shells within some wholesalers represents a significant due diligence risk for caterers as well as a potential food safety risk for consumers. Caterers need this information and it’s about time that wholesalers gave it to them.

“To avoid the risk and guarantee quality, fresh eggs that are produced to the highest food safety standards, caterers should specify British Lion eggs.”

The organisation said that without a best before date caterers cannot offer the very freshest eggs and can be at risk of mixing up eggs of different ages when storing them.

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:46:21 +0000
FreeFrom Eating Out Awards - Open for nominations

The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards have been launched to celebrate excellence in providing gluten/dairy/nut and other allergen free food for students at school, at college and at university. They will reward allergen awareness, support for allergic students and inventiveness in ‘freefrom’ menu and recipe design.
The awards are run by the team who run the very successful FreeFrom Food Awards  (now in their 8th year) and are also open to restaurants, pubs, cafés, guest houses and corporate catering.
On line entry forms for the awards can be found on the awards website at and entry to the education sector is free.
Entry closes on September 30th. A shortlist will be published in October and the winners will be announced at the Food Matters Live event at Excel on November 18th.
For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:07:37 +0000