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News (187)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:58

Steps To Employment

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Did you know that one third of all employees are disabled or close to a disabled person?

Source: gov.uk

Forming support networks is key in business and members of TUCO benefit not only from improved spending power, but are able to share best practice and knowledge from within the catering industry. In a similar fashion, St Loye’s Foundation has, for nearly 80 years also worked as part of a consortium to help and improve employment opportunities for disabled individuals.

Made up of four leading charities including St Loye’s Foundation, Steps to Employment has supported individuals into work through ongoing development, training and workplace support to give them independence and allow them to live a full and functional working life. The support works by sharing knowledge, working closely with partners and placing an emphasis on quality of service and delivering with integrity and commitment.

Sharing the values of TUCO members is just the beginning; we can support employers across the UK in their employment goals, from offering voluntary candidates through to paid employees as well as offering support in interviewing and hiring individuals with disabilities.

In a report by Tourism For All (April 2016) 88% of people working with a disabled colleague say that this experience “is enriching, likely to modify their opinion of disabled people and to give a new sense of value to their job.”

Access to Work funding from the Government means the reasonable adjustments can also gain funded support without the employer needing to pay. So, with the support available and your options when recruiting.


This award is voted for by the readers of Restaurant Magazine and BigHospitality.co.uk. With a record-breaking number of votes this year, over 9,800 individual chefs across the independent and multiple restaurant space giving a true insight into the suppliers of choice for the industry.

For more information about Matthew Clark here.

Coca Cola have launched a Christmas Campaign to give a festive boost to FareShare! This Campaign is aimed to help raise the awareness of FareShare.FareShare is a UK-wide charity that tackles hunger and food waste by redistributing good food that would otherwise go to waste, to frontline charities and community groups that support vulnerable people. The food provided by FareShare contributes towards 21.9 million meals per year catering for 4,652 charities and community groups, enough to provide almost 22 million meals for people in need.‘FareShare’s logo will feature on 30 million promotional 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life, and 1.25l bottles of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, stocked by major high street retailers and convenience stores over the festive period.’‘Shoppers can ‘Donate a Meal to Someone in Need‘ simply by buying a promotional bottle, taking a photo of the FareShare logo on the bottle’s label and uploading it to a promotional website. Coca-Cola will then donate 25p to FareShare for every image successfully uploaded – enabling us to redistribute enough food for a  frontline charity, such as a homeless shelter or older people’s lunch club, to serve up a meal for someone in need.’read more READ MORE

Monday, 19 December 2016 13:12

Introducing Innovative Food Concepts

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Following the success of the first IFC event in June 2015, TUCO will be holding its second Innovative Food Concepts 'Meet the Suppliers' event! This will be taking place on Thursday 23rd February 2017 at Harper Adams University.

This Event will be centred around an extensive range of food and drink concepts available on the TUCO Innovative Food Concepts framework agreement. 11 of the nominated suppliers will be there on the day to present their concepts. They will also have the opportunity to showcase their products in a dedicated seminar so you can watch them prepare and serve their concepts. This event is perfect if members are looking to introduce a new concept as they will be able to see, smell and taste them on the day!

Below shows a list of the confirmed Suppliers:

  • Aryzta (Delice de France)
  • Country Choice
  • Dr Oetker UK Ltd/Chicago Town
  • King Asia Foods Ltd
  • Love Joes (Chicken Joes)
  • Pasta King (UK) Ltd
  • Pieminister
  • Rollover UK Ltd
  • Theo's Food Company
  • TUGO Food Systems
  • We Love Food Ltd trading as The Street Food Company

 Time: 11.00am to 3.00pm

Transportation will be available to and from Stafford and Telford train stations during the day.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. register your interest.

Call for volunteers to host the conference for the next 5 years, 2018 to 2022! For 2018 and 2019 we are ideally looking to have the conference hosted in the Northeast and Scotland but have no preference thereafter. Must haves:- Conference room/auditorium to comfortably seat 400theatre style- 4 breakout rooms each seating 80theatre style- Exhibition: Large room, two rooms or a space for a marquee total space required 1,000sqm- 450 ensuite rooms on site- 3-4 Passionate, driven senior team members to join the organising group with ideas for showcasing the institution, and locality.Ideally:- Parking for 300 guests Please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you believe you can cater for listed requirements.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 11:16

TUCO Signs up to Courtauld 2025 Sustainability Commitment

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The University Caterer’s Organisation (TUCO) has today (16th March) announced it is one of the founding signatories of The Courtauld Commitment 2025, which launched nationally yesterday.

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is a world-leading ten year voluntary agreement that brings together leading organisations from across the Foodservice Industry to tackle waste levels, greenhouse gas emissions and water intensity. All those involved will work collaboratively to reach the shared ambition of cutting the resources needed to provide food and drink in the UK by one-fifth in the next decade.

Launched by sustainability charity WRAP, the commitment will drive best practice through its innovative whole-system approach to the way food and drink is produced, sold and consumed in the UK. The member organisations, which include retailers, brands, manufacturers, local authorities and associations, will work collectively to meet common goals. These include providing lower impact products more efficiently, helping consumers and businesses get more value from the food and drink they buy, and finding innovative ways to use remaining waste and surplus food. WRAP estimates that meeting the Commitment targets will deliver £20 billion worth of savings to the UK economy.

Julie Barker, Chair of TUCO, comments on the organisation’s involvement in Courtauld 2025: “Sustainability remains a hugely important issue for our members, and indeed the Industry. As an organisation we strive to lead the way on finding innovative solutions to the widespread challenges – our commitment to Courtauld 2025 is a key part of this programme.

“As part of TUCO’s involvement, we hope to harness the efforts and passion already demonstrated by member institutions, encouraging them to go one step further, reducing waste even further, recycling more and together, reaping the significant environmental and financial rewards.”

Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP, said: “Courtauld 2025 is our most ambitious agreement yet and we are delighted that TUCO has pledged their support as a signatory. We are faced with some big challenges ahead with rising populations, climate change and dwindling resources, but tackling food waste offers a practical option to address these challenges and in doing so, will create new opportunities. Only by working together can we hope to realise the big changes that are essential to ensuring a more prosperous future for individuals, businesses and the planet.”

Included in The Courtauld Commitment’s shared ambition is the aim to reduce food and drink waste by 20%, cut the GHG intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK by 20%, and drive a decrease in the impact associated with water use in the supply chain. In doing this the member organisations hope to contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to lessen food waste by 2030.


Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:58

Matthew White Announced as New Chair of TUCO

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The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has today announced the appointment of a new Chair to take the fast-moving organisation through the next progressive phase of its journey.   Matthew White, who is currently Director of Catering, Hotel & Conference Services at The University of Reading, will be taking up the position from September 2016.   

White moves into his new position after being a Director of TUCO for three years and holding the role of Vice-Chair for the past two years. Together with the TUCO’ Board, he will be driving the organisation forward to capitalise on its current momentum, as well as building new benefits for stakeholders, and furthering the development of TUCO’s unique; Share, Lean, Buy, Grow ethos. 

Current Chair, Julie Barker, will be stepping down after five years of overseeing the Board management and being the public face for the Organisation during a time of immense change and growth in TUCO’s voice and platform across the university catering sector, and wider Industry. She remains in her role as Director of Accommodation & Hospitality for The University of Brighton and will continue to sit on the TUCO Board.

Speaking about his role, Matthew White, commented:

“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.”

Commenting on her time as Chair, Julie Barker, said:

“The last five years as Chair have been an inspiration.  It has been an honour to oversee the TUCO Board, where each of the members are dynamic and driven with unique backgrounds and expertise, that see them work seamlessly together to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by our sector.  The growth and development of the Organisation over the past few years, both within the education sector and more widely within the hospitality industry, is something which I am tremendously proud of.

“I am delighted that Matthew will be taking over the position, he has a wealth of experience and a passion for the industry which will see him bring the Organisation into a new, creative and cutting-edge era.”

TUCO is the leading membership organisation for in-house caterers operating in the higher and further education sectors, working with over 500 universities and colleges across the UK, its members represent the very best in catering practice and innovation within the sector.

The University of Sheffield's first clean drinking water bore-well has been completed, providing 1070 people in Andhra Pradesh, India with immediate access to safe, clean drinking water.


Life Water, sold in all the University of Sheffield’s café and restaurant outlets across campus and the residences, is a life changing charity, providing clean drinking water to communities that desperately need it. For every bottle of water sold, funds are raised towards the construction of new fresh water wells in India.


The construction of the new well was completed in August 2016 and provides 1070 people with a safe, sustainable and long lasting source of clean drinking water.


Mr. Ramasubbaiah, a community member explains the life changing benefits, “Now the water is good. It is more than enough, even in summer. We need not suffer for the water going dry. As there is a continuous power cut, the tap water supply was scare. Now that is not a problem. I appreciate those who helped our community.”


The University of Sheffield have worked with Life Water to sell their bottled water for 6 years which led to the University being assigned its very own Life Water drop4drop clean drinking water project. Peter Anstess, TUCO North East Regional Chair and Retail Manager for Accommodation and Commercial Services (ACS) at the University explains, “It is absolutely our intention to maintain the progress of opening wells and developing fresh water projects. The sales of Life Water are as strong as ever and the great news that has come from the purchases only confirms that this is a fantastic way to provide a product that the customer desires whilst providing benefit to others.”


More than 1 billion people around the world are unable to access safe, clean drinking water, and over 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation.

Thursday, 24 November 2016 10:39

Hot Beverage Vendor Survey 2016

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This Bristol Online Survey aims to get your feedback on the level of service you are getting from the supplier(s) that are supplying you as part of the TUCO Hot Beverage Framework Agreement.

Click here to take part in the Survey.

Swansea University has been interested in sustainable catering for several years, and has featured on sustainability issues in the TUCO magazines and articles. Until recently, their work had focused entirely on how to reduce their food surplus and waste through improving and refining our food management systems and procurement.

Following some recent collaborative work between Swansea University and WRAP Cymru, Swansea has widened its focus to include reusing food surplus and how this can benefit both students and local communities.

How others do it

Swansea University’s work with WRAP looked initially at how student volunteers could help redistribute surplus food from supermarkets to charities. As part of this work they researched how others approach food surplus around the world. In the US a scheme called the Campus Kitchens Project was particularly interesting. 53 universities and colleges across the country allow their kitchens to be used in the late afternoons and early evening by student volunteers. The volunteers cook surplus food left over from the day’s trading at the university, and then distribute it to vulnerable local groups.

Swansea’s Approach

Swansea looked at their own services. They found their catering is well thought of, popular and profitable - but most of their business is over by 14:00 or 15:00. Wednesdays is the quietest afternoon and evening, as many of our students leave campus to compete in sport and recreational activities. With two main kitchens (one on each campus), both well-equipped, they felt there must be an opportunity to replicate aspects of the Campus Kitchens Project.

Swansea University discussed the issues with their student volunteering group, Discovery, Swansea Council and local secondary school, Bishop Gore. Discovery were keen to get further involved in food surplus, the Council needed to provide social opportunities for some of their vulnerable groups. Their local school also needed to provide community work opportunities for 16 and 17-year-old students taking the Welsh Baccalaureate. A great combination of similar and coinciding interests.

Wednesday Evening Meals

Every Wednesday evening during the new academic year will now be Swansea University’s Food Surplus evening. Weekly evening meals will be provided in one of their cafes for their students arriving back from sports - providing useful sustenance for those looking forward to a Wednesday night out. Two food courses for £2 – as simple as that. Interspersed with this they will provide regular meals for local community groups, all free. Volunteer students, from Discovery and Bishop Gore school, will work alongside the university’s chefs to prepare and serve the meals.

The food the university uses is all surplus - all of it. Some of it comes from local supermarkets, which will be collected by volunteers during the week. Some comes from their own supermarket they run with the Student Union. Some food comes from their campus cafés and restaurants which haven’t sold and can’t be resold. In time Swansea University want to work with our suppliers, particularly local ones, and help reuse their food surplus. They record the number of meals they produce, so they can monitor how much surplus food is being reused.

The events the University have done so far have been very successful – coverage on TV and in local media. They’ve provided high quality meals - as Chefs and Catering Managers know, just because food is past its sell by date doesn’t mean it can’t be great quality. All the chefs have loved taking part, they get a chance to think up new and invariably clever menus, using whatever surplus food has come in, train the volunteers, and know they are working for a good cause.

Paul Robinson, Associate Director of Estates and Facilities at Swansea University says “We were all particularly taken with our Coffee Grounds Cookies (with a surprisingly un-coffee taste!) and we are now planning to bake and sell them on a regular basis in all of our non-chain coffee shops, to increase the profile of our work. Going forward, Discovery also plan to use their student volunteers to help deliver other supermarket surplus food to charities.”


Food Regulations

So what about food hygiene and health and safety? Swansea University looked at a similar scheme a few years ago whether they could donate their surplus food to a homeless charity. At the time they simply couldn’t go through with it. This has all changed now. All supermarket chains now donate their surplus food to charity and some restaurant chains. Simple template forms are now available, with easy guides on what foods can and can’t be used. Having volunteers working in their kitchens was straightforward, with just a little thought put into their brief induction.

Food Surplus Cafés and the Future

Paul Robinson also shares his views on food surplus cafés and the future “Finally – one part of our collaboration with WRAP looked at how the hospitality industry in Wales could better reuse surplus food. The recommendation from our research was clear – the development of more surplus food cafes. The concept is still in its infancy;  there are currently only three in the whole of Wales, out of some 5000+ cafes and restaurants, and probably no more than 50 across the whole of the UK.



A Surplus Food Café or Restaurant - professionally set up, professionally run, heavy on sustainable values, very affordable, with a great USP of a menu which really does change daily depending on what food comes in – surely it would work well? And better still for any catering business….no food costs!”

Working in Partnership

Swansea University are keen to take these concepts forward but, like the Campus Kitchens Project in the US, it makes sense to look at this with other interested HE partners. If you are interested get in touch with Paul Robinson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. perhaps you could set up a conference, a SharePoint site for ideas or just pop along for a two-course meal for £2 in one of the Universities cafés.



Advertising Opportunities: Dan Hillman

t: 0345 500 6008 e: dan@h2opublishing.co.uk

TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

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

Contact Us

The University Caterers Organisation Ltd

3rd Floor, National House

St Ann Street, Manchester

M2 7LE

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