Charlotte Gowers

Charlotte Gowers

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From September 2017, the Fairtrade Foundation teamed up with the National Union of Students to pilot a new Fairtrade Award for Universities and Colleges across the UK. 

The award builds on existing offers, taking on board feedback from the sector in what institutions truly value, as well as what changes and innovations they would like to see. It is being piloted by 12 universities and colleges (June 2017 – May 2018), with a view to launching the new award in June 2018. 

Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation says; “The current Fairtrade University and Colleges Award has been running since 2003 and started out very much about student campaigning. We recognise that there are many different ways that universities engage with Fairtrade and lots of opportunities to deepen their engagement with issues around trade and power in supply chains, and looking at the procurement and policies within their own institutions. The new award will bring together the expertise from the Fairtrade Foundation and the NUS to offer something new and exciting to support institutions.” 

Fairtrade is a grassroots movement supported by 1,174 schools, 631 towns and 7,566 places of worship that have achieved a Fairtrade Award across the UK. This new award will celebrate how even more people, including students, are helping to support farmers and workers on Fairtrade farms across the world. Growing awareness of Fairtrade will help build the market for producers, ensuring they receive a fair wage and income in order to improve the futures of their families and communities. 

Robbie Young, NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) says; “We’re seeing an increasing concern from students about their impact to the planet and how the choices they make affect people down the supply chain. The values of Fairtrade are part of the core values of our student movement and we should be proud to celebrate the achievements of students’ unions. Thousands of students and unions have already shown the power and value of Fairtrade but initiatives like this one will provide a platform for further success.”

Key differences in the proposed new award are:

  • The introduction of new themes and actions in the award criteria, offering opportunity for deeper engagement across a broader range of areas. 
  • The introduction of tiered award levels to enhance scope for continual improvement and long-term engagement.
  • Scope for recognition of wider ethical sourcing and trade justice efforts beyond Fairtrade certified products.
  • The introduction of an on-site audit, undertaken by trained student auditors through NUS’s highly successful existing student auditor programme. 
  • Enhanced support from NUS and Fairtrade: New resources, tools and support to ensure universities and colleges can make the most of their participation and achieve their goals.
  • More scope for measuring impact: Through NUS’s programme of student surveys and database of over 700k students, improved monitoring will show the impact the award scheme is having on attitudes, understanding and ethical consumption and sourcing practice in the HE and FE sector.
  • The introduction of award scheme participation fees for universities, (low or no fee for colleges- TBC), to ensure that Fairtrade and NUS can sustainably offer an enhanced award scheme that meets the needs of the sector and provides good value for money. 

Once the pilot is complete, an audit will take place in May-June 2018 and participants will receive their Fairtrade Awards. The awards will be launched nationwide from summer 2018.

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Cornware 100% biodegradable tableware gives a range of colourful options such as bright yellow, red and orange appetising colours or the pearl white range to reduce food waste among young millennials.
 
Aside from being eco-friendly, Cornware foodware brings out the vibrancy of food-to-go with its exotic colours such as bright appetiziing tones or natural hues, and helps capture the perfect food experience. Cornware's 100% biodegradable range offers a conscious and fashionably crafted solution in vibrant urban colours and brings chicness to the mundane disposable tableware market. 
 
Cornware has also helped to plant almost 10.000 life-giving trees in Sub–Saharan Africa since the past two months through its commitment to the ‘Trees for the Future’ project, thus helping to change lives and save the planet.  “As responsible stewards of the Earth, Cornware UK's aim is to continually protect the environment in which it operates, both by supporting eco-friendly initiatives and providing eco-friendly products,” explains Cornware Director, Rohit Belani.
 
In July 2017, Cornware UK pledged to fund the planting of a tree for every case of products sold.  The trees planted through 'Trees for the Future' are fast-growing, soil rebuilding fruit trees that promote the long-term health of the land. They provide income and nutrition, forage and fuel-wood for families and communities to help break the cycle of generational poverty.
 
Cornware major distributors include Brakes, Alliance National and SOCIUS Network amongst many other, leading suppliers of catering disposables. We urge all catering outlets including cafes, restaurants, hospitals, educational institutions, sporting grounds to get behind us too and purchase a case of Cornware so that together we can support this worthwhile, life-changing cause. For more information on the ‘Trees for the Future’ project, please visit the website - https:/trees.org
 
Cornware plates, cutlery, cold cups, lunch boxes, bowls and trays  comes in 12 vibrant urban colours namely - forest green, midnight black, tangerine orange, glacier blue, ocean blue, rose red, violet, lavender, coral pink, pearl white, lime green and citron yellow to suit any occasion and purpose.
 
Cornware is made from primarily renewable sources of material, Origo that will biodegrade and not be a burden on the environment. The end product is a non-toxic waste for fertilizers, emission of non-toxic gases and a reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide when incinerated. At the same time, the process of making Cornware is 72% more carbon efficient than traditional plastics, such as polystyrene. Cornware’s 100% biodegradable tableware produces 3.5 times less carbon than polystyrene.
 
The Cornware products are strong and durable and allow for good closure while the unique Origo material does not sweat and is microwavable.  They can easily go from the freezer to microwave. The products are oil and water proof, lightweight, acid and alkali resistant. They are competitively priced compared to normal plastics and cheaper than most biodegradable and compostable products.
 
To learn more about this new product please visit www.cornware.co.uk
Friday, 29 September 2017 09:00

Payment-enabled self-serve beer taps

Drink Command has released a new self-service draft beer system that allows customers to pour and pay for their drinks directly at the beer tap. With full-service payment management from Verifone (NYSE: PAY), venues throughout the UK and Ireland can now install the technology to reduce queues, improve speed of service and enable customers to pay with contactless, NFC and other payment methods at the tap.

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The University of Reading are among the first innovative operators in the UK to realise the benefits of the self-serve trend to their venues and operations.

“Our 16 tap self-serve beer wall has allowed us to increase our capacity to serve more customers and hold our existing staff levels by giving patrons the option to order from the bar, or serve themselves at their leisure,” said Matt Tebbit, Head of Residential Catering and Bars at The University of Reading.

“There is a change of mind-set happening in the beer dispense industry, similar to how self-serve technology has improved the way we buy petrol for our cars, or how supermarkets have improved queuing times with self-scan checkouts,” said Robbie Ward, Marketing Director at Drink Command. “By focussing on beer industry ‘pain points,’ such as capacity issues at busy venues and payment complexity, we have created a solution that is being adopted by the beer industry at scale.”

With installations in 26 countries globally, Drink Command are the recognised experts in self-serve draft beer technology. Its solution’s integration with Verifone’s full-scale payment-as-a service (PaaS) offering, including payment terminals, gateway services, estate management and device monitoring, enables Drink Command to offer cashless payment solutions for clients with easy setup and integration with existing merchant bank card facilities.

“Consumer expectations are radically changing. They prefer spending money on events, or ‘experiences,’ but demand the speed of service they’ve grown accustomed to online,” said Kevin Freeguard Vice President and Managing Director, Verifone, UK and Ireland.  “Drink Command enables hospitality venues to meet customers’ evolving demands in an innovative way, while also addressing their payment system needs, with a single ‘all-in-one’ solution.”

Drink Command will be showcasing their new self-serve draft beer taps with payment integration at Stand 8124, BarTechLive Expo, ExCel London on September 26th and 27th 2017. Further information about Drink Command technology is available at www.drinkcommand.com or by contacting 0203 6426386 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 20 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - Mexican

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What started as a trend has turned into a revolution. As it has moved further and further away from the carb and cheese laden image of the Tex Mex variety, authentic Mexican has grown to become one of the most influential cuisines across food and drink. Involving fresh, healthy and colourful ingredients such as fish and pickled veg, utilising corn instead of wheat and incorporating a spectrum of addictive chilli varieties, Mexican is band on current consumer palates. Given its deep roots in street food and hand held formats, it slots in with consumer snacking and on-the-go eating habits. While the slow cooked meats and sauces denotes the craft and authenticity consumers are seeking.

Relevance for TUCO members

  • Explore the many Mexican street food formats and which of these you could deliver to students
  • Use the fresh, colourful and healthy Mexican ingredients as opposed to Tex Mex

For more information on the Mexican Trend within Global Larder read the TUCO research Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017  pages 222 & 223.

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - Japanese

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Beyond sushi and katsu, Japanese cuisine continues to be a firm favourite with consumers. Relatively light and healthy in comparison with Western cuisine, the exotic and unmistakable flavours for more exciting eats. Japanese bakery has really grown in importance, led by the delicate flavours in mochis, sesame, yuzu and matcha – which in particular has become ubiquitous across drinks and sweet bakery. Over on savoury, consumers are in love with hearty bowls of nutritious ramen, as well as the heat of wasabi and the saltiness of miso.

Relevance for TUCO members

  • Consider incorporating Japanese flavours into sweet bakery, focussing on matcha, sesame and yuzu
  • Explore savoury dishes that could be added to the menu – teriyaki and katsu curry are firm consumer favourites

For more information on the Japanese Trend within Global Larder read the TUCO research Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017 pages 220 & 221.

Monday, 02 October 2017 09:00

Global Larder - American

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Probably due to the strong cultural influence through the entertainment industry, be it in drinks, sweet or savour, the American flavour profile is a favourite that we never seem to tire of. Continually we are seeing a borrowed nostalgia come through in American food, as we embrace the childhood delights of mac ‘n cheese and pop tarts. This trend has moved beyond maple and bacon, to peanut butter and jelly, key lime pie, s’mores, bourbon and even chicory coffee. American cuisine really lends itself to decadent desserts, thanks to sugar, spice and plenty of indulgent ingredients. But consumers also continue their love affair with American barbecue, fried chicken and the classic, simple All-American burger.

Relevance for TUCO Members

  • Consider which elements of borrowed American nostalgia you could incorporate into your menu, with a focus on s’mores, peanut butter & jelly, and mac ‘n cheese
  • Which kind of burger do you offer students? Consider stripping it back to the ‘All-American’ essentials

For more information on the Global Larder food and beverage trend read our research Global Food & Beverage Trends Report 2017 from page 215.

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How many of you have reached the last section in our Global Food & Beverage Trends Report 2017?

Introducing the Global Larder.

Mega Trend Description

Millennials are multi-cultural, but Gen Z have the most well-travelled taste buds yet. The increasing amount of cultures in society’s melting pot is reflected across channels, but particularly in street food and casual dining. Some cultures, such as American, are so influential, socially, that they will always have a place un or food; a cuisine like Mexican has greatly increased its influence over the past year, and there are new entries, most notably Global Fusion – that takes the good bits from all over and mashes them together with a healthy irreverence!

How this Resonates with the Younger Generation?

  • Nearly 50% of Gen Z are non-Caucasian, compared to boomers, at 28% - Gen Z’s diversity will continue to drive food culture trends we already see around the exploration of authentic, global food experiences (Hartman Group, USA, 2016)
  • Almost half of millennial restaurant-goers are looking for globally inspired cuisine (Mintel USA, 2016)
  • In the latest EquiTrend Study, Millennials and Gen Z scored fast-casual Mexican restaurants 7.6 points higher than Baby Boomers (The Harris Poll, USA, May 2017)

Sub Trends

  • American
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Modern Indian
  • Middle Eastern
  • Global Fusion
  • Korean
  • Antipodean
  • Filipio

Read the Global Food & Beverages Trends Report 2017 pages 215 – 237 for more information on the Global Larder.

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.

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.

Universities and colleges from across the UK and Ireland have shown how they are leading the path to efficiency, employability and creating a better future of life for us all. Education is proving how sustainability is just good business sense. From the efficient buildings they create and the effective way they use energy, to how they create students fit for the future, their research in finding better ways to adapt to a changing climate and the communities they impact, universities and colleges are at the forefront of radically creating a better future.

This was evident at the 12th Green Gown Awards 2016, held at the Athena in Leicester, in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) and University of Leicester. It was a celebration of remarkable sustainability initiatives, starring 21 Winners and 26 Highly Commended entries from 115 finalists representing 1.5 million students and 240,000 staff. With an audience of 390 sustainability leaders applauding sustainability excellence within tertiary education, the Green Gown Awards celebrated those that are making the radical change that is needed to make all our lives better.

 

The evening was hosted by Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer. Amongst others, Mike is a Visiting Fellow at the Smith Centre for Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership and a chemistry graduate from Sheffield University. Mike said, "We stand on the cusp of great change in the economy and society. It is no longer enough to be a ‘less bad organisation’ focused on preventing the worst environmental and social excesses. Every higher and further education establishment, business and government department needs to be thinking about how we change radically our approach to education, commerce and politics to create a future that is low carbon, equal, circular, fair, restorative and committed to the wellbeing of all. The Green Gown Awards help identify these sustainability best practices and encourage the wider higher and further education system to scale up their use."

 

Each year the Awards bring together the most inspirational projects from across the sector and this year was no exception. Scooping an amazing haul of four Awards was University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) (Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change; Learning and Skills); and in partnership with the University of Bristol (Student Engagement), culminating with Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Environment and Sustainability being awarded the coveted Leadership Award – which is exclusive to senior strategic leadership, at executive or governance level, at a tertiary education institution. Of Jim’s win, Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor, says “UWE is committed to embedding sustainability in everything we do particularly within the curricula. The award of a Leadership Green Gown will be welcome external recognition of our efforts and, in particular, the excellent leadership role that Jim has played in our journey towards becoming a sustainable university.”

 

Royal Agricultural University won an impressive two awards (Best Newcomer and Enterprise and Employability) where they nurture students to embrace sustainability, both social and environmental, offering them opportunities to put such theories as corporate sustainability and ethical leadership into practice. Professor Chris Gaskell MBE, Vice-Chancellor, says “It is a fantastic achievement for us at the Royal Agricultural University to be recognised for our enterprise activities, and we are very proud. We aim to foster and support an enterprising spirit within our student and alumni populations, and also to involve the local community; we all need a sustainable future, and entrepreneurial approaches will be a key component.”

 

Scotland stole the show for the Built Environment category with wins for South Lanarkshire College and the University of Aberdeen. With University of Aberdeen actively reducing energy use by going ‘passive’” which sees the first fully certified Passive House Nursery in Scotland and the first at a Scottish University.

 

Organised and delivered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), Chief Executive, Iain Patton, describes the importance of the Green Gown Awards, “Every year the excellence recognised by the Green Gown Awards shows the business alignment and value of sustainability. Sustainability makes business sense and this year’s inspiring initiatives prove that sustainability benefits staff, students, the wider community and of course the bottom line. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists for their hard work. It was wonderful to celebrate their successes in Leicester.”

 

The full list of winners can be found at www.greengownawards.org.uk

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