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News (144)

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 08:30

Waste less at your university with Vegware

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Over 50% of UK universities use Vegware’s eco packaging. With the support of Vegware, you can up your recycling rates, lower your carbon footprint and communicate your sustainability to students.

As one of the world’s leading universities, the University of Cambridge aims for excellence in everything it does. In November 2015, the University’s catering services switched to Vegware’s compostable foodservice packaging in order to go zero waste.

  • 7 catering services
  • 6,500 sales transactions a day
  • 1,500 departmental events a year

Compostable packaging: the key to zero waste in catering

Before changing to Vegware, the University of Cambridge experienced high levels of contamination in their recycling streams. Recycling conventional food packaging is challenging due to the mix of different materials and food. Most food packaging inevitably destined for landfill or incineration.

All of Vegware’s packaging is made from plants, not plastic, and designed to be recycled with food waste. This eliminates the issues typical of conventional packaging recycling – all the packaging goes into the food waste bin, and there’s no need to separate, sort or clean.

Vegware’s environmental team helped the University of Cambridge identify the right collector and processing facility for their used compostable packaging and food waste. The University staff had demanded food waste collections for years, but it hadn’t proved viable due to the relatively low volumes produced. Introducing Vegware raised the volumes of compostable waste and allowed collections to begin at a number of sites.


Communication is the key to ensuring an organisation as big as the University of Cambridge goes zero waste. Vegware ran a number of Green Day communication events, engaging staff and students with posters and a ‘waste sorting challenge’. We also created bespoke bin signage to show exactly what goes in each bin – ensuring low levels of contamination at the composting facility.

Engagement was then rolled out more widely by the University’s Environment and Energy Section, who ran a ‘spotlight on waste’ month, visiting a number of departments to talk about the issue of waste and about the new Vegware initiative. Vegware and related waste issues were also featured in monthly newsletters and in communications with the Environment and energy coordinators network.


The University of Cambridge is the first in the UK to implement this zero waste approach to foodservice. The Vegware scheme has provided a platform to promote the University’s sustainability aspirations. The University has found it’s the perfect conversation starter to engage staff on environmental sustainability and to act as a talking point around the issue of waste and recycling. The work has also received recognition by being shortlisted for a 2016 Green Gown Award.

Vegware are continuing their work with the University’s Environment and Energy Section to ensure the scheme continues to be a success. Happily, other departments and colleges within the university are following suit!

Vegware Co2 Eco Audits

By switching to Vegware’s compostable packaging, every month the University Catering service:

  • Saves 1.5 tonnes of carbon
  • Saves 710 kilos of virgin materials
  • Composts 1.5 tonnes of used packaging

“The University Catering Service’s commitment to sustainability contributes to enhancing the staff and student experience, and Vegware is a key part of this. The consideration of greater sustainability throughout the food chain

inside the University helps encourage positive lifestyle changes outside of it for both students and staff.”

- University Catering Manager

Love Food Hate Waste have come up with a lot of useful information for students. Feel free to share the below, it might even be useful to you if your younglings have just left for university.

Shared Fridges

When you move into a new kitchen, check that the fridge temperature is below 5 degrees. This can extend the life of many foods such as chicken, fish and salad by an extra three days. Raw food needs to be stored in clean, sealed containers on the bottom shelf to prevent contamination. In fact, most food will stay fresher for longer if it is kept in its original packaging or in a loosely tied bag. Leftovers need to be covered and then eaten within two days – cling film or reusing takeaway containers with their close fitting lids are perfect for this. The exception is cooked rice which should be eaten within 24 hours. Fridge food that is coming up to its use by date needs to be eaten or frozen. If you find food date labels confusing, why not print off the LFHW date label infographic and stick it on the fridge?

Old Mother Hubbard

Just imagine you have moved from a home that has a good stock of all sorts of food in the cupboard, including those spices, sauces and condiments that you don’t use often. If find yourself in a new place where the cupboard is bare, where to you start? Love Food Hate Waste has compiled suggested storecupboard essentials on the LFHW website. These are really useful items to have in stock as they can be used to create a meal, a snack or be combined with leftovers – especially if the shops are shut, or when the budget is tight. These items are likely to have a ‘best before date’ on them which means that they should be safe to eat after that date, they just might not be at their best. This means that many can be safely left in the cupboard or taken home with you at the end of term, they don’t need to be binned automatically. Keep them well sealed, cool and away from direct sunlight.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016 08:30

Love Food, Hate Waste - Timetable Alterations

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Whether you are on an academic timetable, or are adjusting to a new work routine, one of the key ways to help you save money is to plan meals and menus.

It’s not as onerous as its sounds, there is even an online ready madetwo-week meal plannerfor both meat eaters and veggies to help get you started. You might like to cook together with new housemates as buying food for four can not only be cheaper, but it can be fun, build friendships and also introduce you to a new recipe repertoire. Getting together to discuss a meal plan for a week will help work out who is cooking, what they will cook but will also work out when meals will not be needed. For example will Friday night have a late night takeaway tradition, or will housemates be missing at the weekends? Use the plan to make ashopping listbut always check the fridge and cupboard before shopping – as you might already have the ingredients in stock.

Monday, 21 November 2016 08:30

Food Matters Live

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Special events present visitors and exhibitors with unique networking and business opportunities. They include opportunities to arrange one-to-one meetings with innovation teams and buyers from retailers, manufacturers and ingredient suppliers plus industry awards and educational workshops.

  • Bord Bia
  • Food and Drink Federation
  • N8 AgriFood Roundtable
  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Brand Chemistry 'speed dating'
  • Enterprise Europe: matchmaking meetings
  • IfM: Open Innovation Forum
  • FreeFrom Eating Out Awards presentation
  • Grub Club Cambridge Social Networking Event
  • IfM: Sustainable Food Business Hackathon
  • Meet the innovation teams

Impact data from the first 1000 suppliers using the new NetPositive Supplier Development online tool

Data is emerging from the sector-leading Supplier Engagement Tool, which is being spearheaded TUCO and three other national purchasing consortia for Higher Education (North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium, North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium and Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium) and utilised by 27 UK universities.

TUCO along with these organisations have been providing suppliers with access to a free, online tool that helps them create a Sustainability Action Plan for their business. The tool is designed to support and develop the supply chain as part of an ongoing commitment to embedding sustainability in procurement process.


6 months since the launch the first data from the tool is starting to emerge and demonstrates the positive impact suppliers to the HE sector are making in relation to sustainability – and where there is work still to be done!


Thursday, 17 November 2016 08:30

Food Matters Live

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Food Matters Live 2016 will play host to six themed visitor attractions, bringing to life the learning from the conference and seminars through a series of thought provoking installations and live interactive demonstrations, tastings and talks located within the exhibition floor. 

  • The Evidence Base
  • FEED Sensorium
  • Catering for Health
  • Growth Lab
  • Experimental Café
  • Sustainable Food Futures

Food Matters Live is free to attend and welcomes all relevant industry professionals. Register here now.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016 08:30

Procure Wizard Update

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In July we mentioned our upcoming partnership with Procure Wizard, an online purchase to pay system. This will give TUCO members free of charge use of a digital purchase to pay system as well as access to ‘live pricing’, taking significant costs out of the supply chain.

When Procure Wizard launched in 2011, its goal was to revolutionise the hospitality sector by providing a dynamic online purchasing portal to help modernise the procurement cycle, delivering improved efficiency and reduced costs.

Boasting a high profile client list (including the Gleneagles Hotel, Patisserie Valerie and Liverpool FC) and 10,000 active users, the portal has also recently won a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. TUCO members will be in very good company!

So what does it do? I think we’re all very aware at just how prevalent traditional telephone ordering and paper invoicing is in university catering, making the control of live costs both challenging and time-consuming. Well, Procure Wizard changes all that.

As a result of the new partnership members will enjoy a raft of world-class services including online ordering, recipe/allergen/ingredient analysis and stock management. Users will also be able to integrate the system into their current sales and accounts software.

The beauty of Procure Wizard is that it centralises your procurement function, giving you total control and cuts out human error. The key benefits are total visibility, it gives you a dynamic dashboard of exactly where your business is on any given day, at any specific time, as well as eliminating the risk of human error as once data is keyed, it doesn’t need to be re-entered or repeated. It also gives you access to live delivery data. It’s extremely user-friendly and can help you track your budget expenditure.

Transferring over to the system is a two-stage process. You can log on and order from day one (so getting purchase to pay up and running is quick and simple). Stage two takes more time as it involves the integration of systems and members will need to prioritise the other modules for integration.  However Procure Wizard is happy to do this at the pace you dictate. The company is also happy to run members through what is required and to give onsite demonstrations.

I have no doubt that TUCO members who embrace this online option will transform their relationship with suppliers. These are exciting times!    

Seafish urges all seafood businesses to get on board for campaign as ties with Tesco, Birds Eye and Hilton Worldwide are announced.

Three major players in seafood have signed up to support Seafood Week, the annual consumer campaign run bySeafishto get more people eating more fish more often.

Joining a series of household names from across the supply chain, retail giant Tesco, Birds Eye, and international hotel network Hilton Worldwide, are the latest to back the eight-day celebration of fish and shellfish.

Following successful participation in last year’s campaign, which generated an estimated £18 million benefit to the seafood industry, Tesco is back on board for 2016. Andrew Haigh, Tesco Buying Manager – Fish, said: “We are very excited to be a part of Seafood Week this year. Seafood offers customers healthy and convenient options and Seafood Week is a fantastic initiative to help showcase this to customers. Earlier this year we also announced a number of measures, in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council, which means we are sourcing even more of our seafood in a sustainable way.”

Birds Eye has also shown their support by striking a deal with organisers Seafish to become a partner for the campaign. The global brand will benefit from their products being promoted as part of a wider marketing and advertising campaign which aims to encourage people to eat more seafood.

Birds Eye Marketing Director Steve Chantry said: “This will be the first year Birds Eye is involved with the Seafood Week initiative and we’re looking forward to taking part as we encourage Brits to eat more fish at home.

“As a leader in the frozen fish category and a brand that is loved across the UK, our fish heritage is incredibly important to us and to our consumers. This Seafood Week will therefore see the brand working with many of our much-loved fish icons, including fish fingers and the recently returned Captain Birdseye, as we help shoppers create delicious, nutritious meals.”

Hilton Worldwide is supporting the campaign for the second year. Dominique Piquemal, Vice President, Food & Beverage Strategy, Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: “Seafood Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase the very best of seafood to diners and we are delighted to support the initiative again this year.

“Hilton Worldwide has a long term commitment to responsible sourcing and is dedicated to maintaining the highest culinary standards in our hotels. It is critical to include sustainable fishing practices in our sourcing strategy to ensure seafood continues to be available in the future. Seafood is a popular choice with our guests, and with clear MSC labelling now on our menus in nearly 50 hotels in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium, we are giving our guests greater choice with the seafood they choose to enjoy in our hotels.”

Seafish Corporate Relations Director Mel Groundsell welcomed all three brands’ participation and said: “It’s fantastic news that such well-known and well-respected businesses are getting on board for Seafood Week. Like us, these household brands recognise the value of sustainable, healthy seafood and will be helping us get more people eating more of it this October.

“I’d encourage any business involved in the seafood supply chain to get involved  - there are great opportunities on offer and the more we work together, the louder that ‘more fish, more often’ message will be.”

Seafood Week will be held from Friday, 7th October to 14th October.

For more information please visitwww.seafoodweek.co.ukor contact Kieran Westbrook in the Seafish press office: 0131 524 8684  /This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Seafood Week celebrates the delicious taste of fish and shellfish with a different species and dish each day.

Seafood Week (7-14 October) is an eight-day campaign to sing the praises of fish and shellfish in the UK – and remind everyone that fish is the dish! On every day of Seafood Week, a different dish of the day is championed to celebrate the many different ways fish can be cooked and served.

We’ve got eight delicious seafood recipes for you to try – all quick and easy to make and tasting great. So, make the most of Seafood Week by trying out these delicious meals.

Find out more about Seafood Week at www.seafoodweek.co.uk, where you can find loads more recipes and tips about cooking, buying and eating seafood.

Day 1 – Breaded fish and chips

Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking time: 26-30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 4 haddock fillets
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 100g breadcrumbs (can use gluten free)
  • 2 large baking potatoes, skin on, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small pot sour cream
  • four gherkins
  • 1 dsp capers
  • bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful fresh flat leaf parsley
  • handful fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into 4 wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Lay out three shallow bowls of seasoned flour, beaten egg and fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Coat the fish in each in the order of flour, egg, breadcrumbs.
  3. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, till golden, turning once.
  4. Toss the potato wedges in the oil, season and bake in the oven till cooked and crispy, turning once.
  5. Meanwhile make up the sour cream. Finely chop the gherkins, capers, spring onions and most of the herbs. Combine with the sour cream, add lemon juice and seasoning.
  6. When cooked serve the fish, wedges and sour cream, garnished with the remaining herbs and a lemon wedge.

Alternative Fish

  • Cod
  • Coley
  • Pollack and Pollock

Day 2 – Delicious Fish Pie

Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking time: 31-40 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 300g potatoes
  • 500ml milk
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 50g butter plus extra for greasing the pie dish
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 1 packet chilled seafood mix OR selection of white fish and shellfish eg cod, haddock, coley, mussels, squid, approx 500g.
  • handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 50g grated cheddar


  1. Peel and boil the potatoes till cooked, mash and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c. Finely chop the onion and leek. Heat the butter and oil in a pan and fry the vegetables for a few minutes till soft. Set aside.
  3. Melt the 50g butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk gradually on a low heat, whisk or stir till it starts to thicken. Season.
  4. Combine the sauce, onion and leek, the fish and the frozen peas in the pan with a large handful of flat leaf parsley.
  5. Pour into a buttered oven dish. Top with mashed potato and grated cheddar.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or till golden on top.
  7. Serve with seasonal veg.

Alternative Fish

  • Cod
  • Coley
  • Haddock
  • Whiting

Day 3 – Kedgeree

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 31-40 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 450g undyed smoked haddock
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green cardamom pods split in half
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 350g basmati rice
  • 600ml stock
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F.
  2. Wrap the haddock in foil and bung it in the oven on a baking tray for 8 minutes (check it's done by seeing if it flakes easily with a fork).
  3. Chop the onion and fry for 3 minutes in the melted butter, then add all the spices, including the split cardamom pods. Cook for 3 more minutes.
  4. Add the rice and stock, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in your flaked haddock and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  6. Divide it among the plates with half a hard-boiled egg on top of each to garnish

Alternative Fish

  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (Atlantic)
  • Salmon (Pacific)

Day 4 – Prawn Curry

Prep time: 13-15 minutes
Cooking time: 16-20 minutes
Serves: 2


  • 1 small pack whole wheat noodles
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 medium red chilli
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 pack fresh coriander
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 2 banana shallots or 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 small pak choy, sliced and green tops reserved
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 pack fresh prawns (180g approx)
  • Or 12 cooked langoustines
  • lime wedges to garnish


  1. Precook the noodles in boiling water and set aside
  2. Blitz the garlic, onion, red chilli, ginger and half the fresh coriander together in a food processor or hand blender to make a spice paste. Add a drop of oil or soy sauce if needed.
  3. Heat the sesame oil in the wok.
  4. Fry the shallots or onion, peppers, pak choy and mushrooms over a high heat
  5. Add the spice paste and fry for a few minutes, then add the coconut cream, the fish sauce and soy sauce and stir
  6. Turn down the heat, add the prawns and cook for a few minutes till the prawns are cooked through.
  7. Stir through the noodles and the pak choy tops. Serve garnished with the rest of the fresh chopped coriander and a wedge of lime.
  8. If using langoustines just add them in to warm through for a couple of minutes instead of the prawns.

Alternative Fish

  • Langoustines

Day 5 – Homemade Fish Fingers

Prep time: 16-20 minutes
Cooking time: 16-20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 4 chunky cod fillets
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • oil for baking tray

To serve

  • oven chips
  • tomato ketchup (decent)
  • frozen peas or green veg

Alternative Fish

  • Coley
  • Haddock
  • Pollack and Pollock
  • Whiting

Day 6 – The Scampi Sandwich

Prep time: 4 minutes
Cooking time: 16-20 minutes
Serves: 1


  • handful of frozen breaded scampi
  • 2 slices white bloomer bread
  • 10g butter
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 gherkins
  • 1 tsp small capers, rinsed
  • juice of one lemon
  • small bunch of chives or parsley, finely chopped
  • small handful mixed salad leaves.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bake the scampi in the oven according to packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile slice and butter the bread.
  3. Make the mayonnaise by finely chopping one of the gherkins and combining with the capers, half the lemon juice, half the chopped herbs and seasoning.
  4. Spread the mayonnaise over the bread.
  5. Slice the rest of the gherkins and lay on one slice of the bread. Top with the hot scampi, a squeeze of lemon juice, the salad leaves and remaining herbs.
  6. Add the second slice of bread, slice in half and enjoy.

Alternative Fish

  • Langoustines

Day 7 – Smoked Mackerel Fishcake

Prep time: 31-40 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 88g Instant pack mashed potato (made up)
  • 2-3 smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1 x 15ml spoon parsley
  • 3 spring onions
  • 100g canned sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 125g breadcrumbs 


Baking tray, large bowl, measuring jug, measuring spoons, chopping board,  knife, fork and 2 shallow bowls.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or gas mark 6.
  2. Grease or line a baking tray.
  3. Remove the skin from the mackerel and break into flakes.
  4. Chop the parsley and spring onions.
  5. Mix the mackerel, parsley, spring onions and sweetcorn into the mashed potato. Allow to cool.
  6. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  7. Pour the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
  8. Dust hands and a chopping board with flour and divide the fish cake mixture into eight.
  9. Shape into round flat cake.
  10. Dip each fish cakes into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs.  Repeat with all the cakes.  Place in the fridge and chill for up to 30 minutes.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

Serves: 8 fish cake

Day 8 – Smoked Haddock Breakfast

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 2 packs smoked haddock (approx 600g)
  • 6 large free range eggs
  • small handful chives, finely chopped
  • small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g salted butter
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Bread for toast


  1. Heat the oven to 180c. Wrap the haddock in foil and heat in a medium oven for 10 minutes
  2. Whisk six eggs together with some seasoning and half of the chopped herbs
  3. Melt half of the butter in a pan over a low heat, then add the eggs.
  4. Scramble the eggs to your preferred consistency
  5. Stir in the halved cherry tomatoes and a final knob of butter
  6. Remove the fish from the oven. Serve with the eggs on hot buttered toast, garnished with the remaining herbs.

Alternative Fish

  • Cod
  • Coley
  • Hake

Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Kieran Westbrook on 0131 524 8684 or 07876 035 756 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Seafish

Seafood Week is an award-winning annual campaign run by Seafish to promote fish and shellfish to the UK consumer. The eight-day campaign is held from October 7-14 and begins with #fishpunday on social media. Find out more about Seafood Week by visiting the website www.seafoodweek.co.uk.

About Seafish

Seafish was founded in 1981 by an Act of Parliament and aims to support all sectors of the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future. It is the only pan-industry body offering services to all parts of the industry, from the start of the supply chain at catching and aquaculture; through processing, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood right through to restaurants and retailers.

Seafish is funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK. Its services are intended to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the industry, as well as promoting sustainably-sourced seafood. These services include technical research and development, responsible sourcing initiatives, economic consulting, market research, industry accreditation, safety training for fishermen and legislative advice.




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TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

t: 01474 520 267 e: morag@h2opublishing.co.uk

Contact Us

The University Caterers Organisation Ltd

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M1 1EZ

t: 0161 713 3420 e: info@tuco.ac.uk