News Fri, 01 Jul 2016 16:55:05 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb New Chair of TUCO

We’re very proud to announce that Matthew White will become our chair from September.


White, currently director of catering, hotel & conference services at The University of Reading, has been one of our directors for three years and held the role of vice chair for the past two years.


He said: “TUCO is at an incredibly important point in its progression and I am enormously excited by the next phase of its development, and the work that the board will be undertaking in the next few years to build on the momentum secured to date.   


“Julie has been a powerful force alongside the TUCO Board in evoking change and I would like to personally thank her for everything that she has done over the past five years.  


“She has been instrumental in the growth of TUCO and the developments to transform and modernise the organisation to offer genuine value to our members, as well as taking our unique procurement frameworks - which represent incredible value - and offer these to the broader public sector.


“TUCO members are some of the most talented caterers in the country providing for diverse and multi-faceted needs across international audiences. They are right at the forefront of trends and insights into the future of foodservice, working with the consumers of tomorrow.


“Together with the board, I will be working tirelessly to advance the learning and development of catering and hospitality teams in line with emerging trends and changes.”


Our current chair, Julie Barker, will be stepping down after five years of overseeing the board management and being the public face for TUCO. She remains in her role as director of accommodation & hospitality for The University of Brighton and will continue to sit on the TUCO Board.

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08:19:37 +0000
Update on 'No Gluten Containing Ingredients (NGCI)' regulations

Please download and carefully read the letter from the FSA on the use of 'No Gluten Containing Ingredients (NGCI)' for labelling statements.

New regulations are due to take effect on 20th July 2016.

This means from 20th July when marketing foods which are naturally free of gluten by their specific nature or composition, but not 'gluten free', food businesses will need to confine the information they provide to consumers about gluten to the information as prescribed by the Regulation. This outcome follows the gluten labelling rules moving from the EU legal framework on foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS) to the legal framework on general food information and labelling as governed by Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2001. Please note, all FSA advice and guidance on NGCI on their website will be amended to reflect this change in the near future.

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:35:25 +0000
FSA - Food Safety Week Food Waste

Food waste is a global issue; according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) about one third of the global food production is lost or wasted annually.


In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year. If we all stopped wasting food the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.


There are two main reasons why we throw away good food: we buy/make too much or we don't use it in time.


The FSA research tells us that people can be confused about the difference between use by and best before dates, that they don’t always know what can be safely cooked or frozen, and that some people are taking risks with their health and that of their loved ones to make food go further.


This year the FSA is focussing its Food Safety Week (4-10 July) on ways in which we can all waste less food - safely. But there’s also a bigger picture. With the global population set to rise to over 9.5 billion by 2050 there are huge pressures facing the world’s food system. We do not yet know what the future will bring for food, but we do know that business as usual is not an option. We know that we can all contribute to a better food future by reducing the amount of food we waste.


Small changes will make a big difference and everyone can play their part. Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. The FSA will highlight how we can all reduce waste, save money and provide safe food for our loved ones. They will be providing a selection of hints and tips on what to do with leftovers and by looking at ways to eat, cook or freeze food by the use by date.


Focusing particularly on meat, meat and fish waste together cost £2.1billion a year. Meat and fish contributed to 570,000 tonnes of waste. Around 300,000 was avoidable (200,000 tonnes was unavoidable e.g. bones).


Businesses also have a role to play in reducing food waste. WRAP research shows that the UK manufacturing and retail sector wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food and drink a year, 1.1 million tonnes is avoidable. Which is why the FSA will be speaking to businesses to find out what they are doing to reduce food waste and what more can be done.


They’ll also be looking at what the Government can do to help. The FSA will be hosting an event on the 6th July to bring together retailers, charities, innovative thinkers to grassroots organisations to discuss the challenges that they face with regards to food redistribution.


They will be particularly seeking views on date marking and additional guidance that could be supplied by the FSA to assist organisations in redistributing food, particularly with a view to refreshing the Government policy ‘Guidance of the application of date labels to food’.

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 08:57:48 +0000
Higher Education Show

TUCO is a proud supporter of the Higher Education Show, taking place on the 11th October at Olympia, London.

The event is the largest free-to-attend gathering of higher education professionals focusing on the day-to-day management of HE institutions.

From estates, to technology and student experience this year’s show will give the opportunity to all visitors to gain the tools and knowledge needed to ensure their institution remains competitive in the global market.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Conrad Bird, Director of the GREAT Britain campaign, Prime Minister's Office & Cabinet Office Communications
  • Sir Simon Hughes, Head of Public Affairs, The Open University
  • Sarah Howls, Head of Student Opportunity, HEFCE
  • Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency
  • Gordon McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, GuildHE
  • Sue Holmes, Chair, Association of University Directors of Estates

You can view the agenda on the HE Show website.

All TUCO members from HE institutions are entitled to a complimentary pass.

Register your free pass here by clicking here.

For any enquiries do not hesitate to contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0203 770 6552 or visit

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:51:48 +0000
Pricing Bulletin 23/05/16 – 17/06/16

Please note there is revised pricing on the following agreements






Fish & Seafood


Fruit & Veg




Please note there are new products for the below suppliers

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:59:44 +0000
NETPositive Supplier Engagement Tool Update First sustainability action plans created and members joining up!

First sustainability action plans created and members joining up!


Back in February we shared news of the new supplier development tool that is now supporting our sustainable procurement activity, view article.


The tool enables suppliers to demonstrate clearly their commitment to sustainability and provides a simple yet robust response to the Modern Slavery Act, individual universities will also have the opportunity to send the tool to their own supply chains through a reduced member rate.


We are delighted that not only have 39 suppliers already signed up and created a free sustainability action plan for their business but out of the 37 issues identified 33 are being actioned.


“The University of York has recently purchased access to the NETpositive Supplier Engagement Tool. We believe that it will be invaluable in helping us to progress our sustainable procurement agenda, specifically the supplier engagement element. We also believe that this tool will provide a vital input to our reporting under the Modern Slavery Act.” Rob Hunt Head of Procurement, University of York.


Nottingham Trent University has also signed up to use the tool. “We love how the tool benefits both us and our suppliers.  It demonstrates how seriously we take sustainability.” Grant Anderson, Sustainability Manager, Nottingham Trent University.


The TUCO team will soon be undertaking training to ensure we use the action plans that suppliers create to inform discussions during contract management meetings. We look forward to sharing progress with our members in the coming months using data from the tool.

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:45:32 +0000
University of Reading Chef wins National BBQ Battle

Wednesday 15th June saw the final of the British BBQ Battle take place in the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. This hotly contended competition had seen all the entries whittled down to just 8 finalists. Entries came from all areas of the food industry including other universities, pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. The criteria was to produce a three course meal for four using the barbeque for as many elements as possible. Sauces and marinades from one of the main sponsors also had to feature in the dishes.  


Martin Wheeler (Chef – Eat and Drink at London road) put together a very innovative menu for the competition. His starter consisted of Applewood smoked eel served with an apple and celeriac slaw. For main course a Hogget shish, served on a beetroot flatbread with crispy kale and baba ganoush. Finally for dessert a Lamington, served with grilled mango and a Pina Colada sabayon.


On the day it was a very nervous competition as the finalist were divided into to two groups. Martin had been drawn in the afternoon cook off and even though he had practiced the dishes a number of times on barbeques outside the Central Kitchen at the University of Reading, he was obviously nervous. However as Darren Edwards (Executive Chef), who was there supporting Martin, reported “He cooked really well and everything went to plan on the day”.


After the judges had tasted all the dishes and deliberated their scores, the winners for each category were announced. In the university category Martin was successful and crowned the winner. Once all the categories had been announced the only prize left was the big one, the overall winner. This was again awarded to Martin, with the judges especially commending him for his Lamington dessert saying “It was the best dish of the day”.


This is not only a great achievement for Martin and the team at the University of Reading but for In house University catering in general, showing the industry the level of talent and commitment there is.

Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:54:28 +0000
Matthew Algie Signed up to World of Coffee

Leading independent coffee roaster, Matthew Algie, is heading to Dublin to exhibit at SCAE World of Coffee 23-25 June for the first time. Billed as Europe’s greatest coffee gathering, they will be enticing the throng with a high-impact stand and welcoming a few special guests.


As part of Matthew Algie’s Hand Roasted showcase, Omar Rodriguez (the General Manager of the Capucas cooperative in Honduras) is flying to Ireland to host special cupping sessions, bringing a selection of the best microlots from the cooperatives. 


“As around 10,000 coffee lovers prepare to descend on Dublin, we have an opportunity to speak to the coffee-loving community about our dedication to ethical sourcing and our obsession with serving the freshest, tastiest coffee around,” says Andrew Jack, Head of Marketing at Matthew Algie. “What better way to demonstrate this – and show off the new additions to our Hand Roasted collection – than to ask one of our producers to brew microlots that are so fresh we don’t even know what they will be yet?!”


Mark Barnett (owner and designer of Synesso artisan espresso machines) will be flying in from Seattle to join the Matthew Algie stand. He will be demonstrating the Synesso MVP hydra and giving visitors the chance to sample coffee from this incredible espresso machine.


With guests welcome to stop and sip at either the brew and espresso bars, they can also speak to Reg Barber (creator of hand-crafted coffee tampers) and watch chalk artist Niall Marron create a piece of coffee art using the stand as his canvas.


Other activity includes the Urnextaste challenge; sampling Hand Roasted coffees three ways, espresso, filter and cold brew, at the cupping station, served from the Suki Tea range and summer drinks carts, plus the latest line-up from Espresso Warehouse including Wooden Spoon’snew Gluten Free Raspberry & White Chocolate biscuit.


Matthew Algie will be located at stand F2. SCAE World of Coffee from 23 – 25 June at The Royal Dublin Society.


For more information contact: Jessica MacKenzie or Sarah Mooney on 0131 557 5252 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:01:47 +0000
Are you Food Allergy Aware?

In December 2014 we saw a massive change in how allergen information is provided. The biggest challenge was faced by the food service sector. With such a diverse range of food businesses, getting people trained, maintaining allergen knowledge as well as the seriousness of food allergies, within a transient team, was always going to be a challenge. As we saw in the recent case where an Indian takeaway owner was charged with manslaughter after a customer with a severe peanut allergy died after eating a curry.


Making it easy for businesses to understand the rules and giving them the tools and training they would need for compliance, without a hefty price tag, was the Food Standard Agency’s objective.

Innovative changes

Since the rules were introduced, there have been great innovations by food businesses, offering upfront and easily accessible information. There are also others who go above and beyond to provide special options for those with a food allergy or intolerance.


However, there is more to be done. The FSA’s recent research tells us that, despite improvements, only 52% of consumers surveyed felt more confident when asking for allergen information, one in four people with a food allergy has suffered a reaction while eating out in a restaurant or cafe since the new laws came in. They also found that nearly one in five (19%) of those allergic reactions resulted in a hospital visit. 


What you must consider

Allergic consumers felt that businesses need to:

  • take time to understand the importance of why food allergic consumers make such requests
  • make necessary checks to ensure food is safe
  • have more confidence when handling allergens in the kitchen
  • not take an overly cautious approach to refuse service to those with allergies.

Some consumers felt that certain businesses did not know what allergies were and didn’t take them seriously.


Death by food allergy outside the home

FSA research found that the primary cause of food allergy deaths in the UK is due to food that is prepared and consumed outside of the home, where allergenic ingredients have been used and not declared. In total, around a third of those with a food allergy have suffered a reaction in the last year when eating out of the home. The vast majority of these (25%) took place in a restaurant or cafe, with 9% being a result of takeaway food.


Good allergen info is good for business

With around two million allergic consumers in the UK, it is easy to see why having the correct allergy information is good for business. Your business could be missing out on extra custom by not providing clear and accurate allergen information about the food you provide. Complying with this regulation puts your customers’ best interest’s first, which makes smart business sense, ensuring your customers with allergies don’t fall ill, building trust and your reputation while avoiding potential prosecution.


If you need advice and guidance on the rules there is also a lot of easy-to-understand information on the FSA’s website: to help with these rules. You can also watch these videos for more info:

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 14:20:16 +0000
Caledonian University puts heart into campus catering

With 17,000 students, catering at Glasgow’s Caledonian University is a huge operation. The brand new main restaurant is part of a major rebuild, The Heart of the Campus project. “It’s called The Heart partly because it’s right in the middle of the campus,” says head of catering, Frank McCabe, “but also because it’s built round leafy courtyards where customers can relax in the fresh air – and because it’s designed to inspire social gatherings.” At the heart of any catering operation is the kitchen – and the heart of The Heart is built around cooking equipment from Falcon Foodservice Equipment and refrigeration from Williams.

To read the full case study download the PDF here...

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:01:32 +0000