Laura Haslin

Laura Haslin

A thousand restaurants will this weekend serve dishes that highlight how they’re addressing the problems in the food system as the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) launches a global campaign to help diners use the power of their appetites wisely.

Chefs including Raymond Blanc, Skye Gyngell and Chantelle Nicholson, as well as high street restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Zizzi and Wahaca are participating in One Planet Plate, launching on Saturday 24 March.

Restaurants as far afield as Virgin Limited Edition’s Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, Shoun RyuGin in Taiwan, and L’Effervescence in Tokyo, will also be serving a One Planet Plate.

Two surveys conducted on behalf of the SRA, one by restaurant guide Harden’s, the other by National Union of Students, reveal very low levels of satisfaction with the social and environmental impact of the food on offer in UK restaurants.

Just 20% of those asked by Harden’s said they were satisfied with how ethical the food is on the menus of places they’ve eaten in recently, while even fewer, only 17% are satisfied with its impact on the environment.  The picture is similar amongst the students surveyed. Fewer than a quarter (24.8%) of students are satisfied with the environmental impact of the food on offer when they eat out, while fewer than one in three (30.4%) believe it’s meeting sufficient ethical standards.

Almost nine out of ten of those questioned by Harden’s (86%) said they thought restaurants should focus on creating a menu that helps them make sustainable choices.

Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, said: "At Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons we’ve been serving dishes made with vegetables grown in our very own kitchen garden, alongside free-range meat from the same fantastic British suppliers for more than 30 years. It’s so important to help people understand what sustainable food looks, smells and tastes like. By highlighting dishes that capture this ethos One Planet Plate will enhance diners’ experience and help them put their passion for good food into action."

One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they’re contributing to a better food future.As the consumer survey results demonstrate, faced with a full menu of dishes to choose from, it can be hard for even the most conscious diners to feel confident they’re making the right choice, even in the most ethical restaurant. A One Planet Plate is effectively the chef’s sustainable special – his or her recommendation.

To give the campaign a kickstart, the SRA is launching it to coincide with WWF’s Earth Hour on 24 March – the largest environmental event in the calendar and a perfect moment to grab diners’ attention. This is the fourth year that the SRA has partnered with WWF on Earth Hour and this year more restaurants are participating than ever and giving customers the chance to make positive food choices. Diners can find 1,000 restaurants serving a One Planet Plate on a dynamic map at www.oneplanetplate.org. The site also serves as a treasure trove of 100 recipes for the dishes created and contributed by chefs from high end to high street.

Thomasina Miers, co-founder of Wahaca, which will be serving twice-cooked black beans with sobresada, pledged her support for the campaign saying: “I am delighted that Wahaca is taking up the One Planet Plate challenge with our twice-cooked black beans, one of our most delicious dishes on the menu, seasoned with the amazing sobresada from Trealy Farm.  It is incredibly easy to eat sustainable AND delicious food and the One Planet Plate campaign illustrates this beautifully.” 

Angela Hartnett whose Café Murano’s One Planet Plate is Spinach Strangolapretti, homemade ricotta, wild garlic, hazelnuts, said"This is an extremely important campaign and cause, and one I’m so pleased we can be a part of. At Cafe Murano we’re in constant conversation with our suppliers and each other about how we can be more sustainable and less wasteful. Italians are always using up bread and other often-wasted ingredients to make new dishes and so we try and implement this as much as possible."

Among the dozens of recipes shared by chefs are a number that designed to eliminate waste, including prawn head crispies (Moshi Moshi, London), sautéed oyster mushrooms (Harissa, Newcastle, made with mushrooms grown on coffee grounds) and bread soup with vegetable trimmings (Spring, London, using up stale bread). There are a number made with local ingredients including Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ home grown beetroot terrine and horseradish sorbet. 

Among the dishes rethinking the role of meat on the plate are potted beef (Richard H Turner at Hawksmoor) and pressed pig and walnuts (James Golding at The PIG).

Nicholas Balfe, of Salon, has created the sustainable alternative to smashed avocado – broccomole, while Ottolenghi Head Chef David Bravo is serving up cured Chalkstream rainbow trout with pickled broccoli stems in its Islington restaurant – to highlight sustainable seafood.

Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: “Our consumer surveys clearly demonstrate that diners are crying out for some simple signposting to help them. One Planet Plate gives chefs the chance to draw attention to one damned delicious dish that epitomises their ethos, and choosing it is a vote for the food future you want to see.”

The SRA is calling on diners to play their part by snapping a picture of a One Planet Plate when they eat out and sharing it on social media using #oneplanetplate.

More than four in ten (41%) Brits think we’ll be eating lab-grown meat and fish within just ten years, according to research by the human experience company, Starcom.

Lab-grown meat and fish, also known as cultured meat, is grown in a cell culture instead of inside of animals. It has been developed for nearly twenty years with NASA being one of the earliest groups to research its viability in 2002.2

Shortages of meat and fish is the top reason why people say they would eat lab-grown produce, followed by environmental and sustainability concerns. This isn’t surprising as currently around 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced as a result of the meat industry.3 Pescetarians and vegetarians are the most confident with the speed of adoption with 59% and 51% respectively believing it’ll be on our plates within 10 years.

Starcom surveyed 2,000 people as part of its ongoing ‘Future of…’ thought-leadership series, which is based on rich insight into consumer trends and how emerging behaviours will impact brands and society as a whole. 

With rising food prices already rising quickly, 90% of Brits that do a weekly shop say they would start cutting back on spending if they were to rise again. Fresh meat and fish will be culled from the basket before fresh fruit and veg.

 It’s clear that for lab-grown meat and fish to become an accepted part of our diet, it needs to mimic closely the original. The most important quality for consumers is taste, followed by texture, smell and then its look.

There is still education needed for the majority of Brits to get used to the new food type. Currently 42% of people would eat lab-grown meat or fish in a restaurant, which drops slightly when it comes to fast food restaurants (37%).

Jodie Stranger, Starcom UK Group chief executive and president of global network clients, EMEA, said:

“The research is a fascinating look into the motivations and perceptions of consumers. For a food source that only really started proper development in the early noughties to have such acceptance already is amazing. It appears that this willingness to try something very new, and out of the norm, comes from a desire to help the planet and reduce the strains of meat production.”

 “Although greater education about the benefits of lab-grown produce is necessary, Brits are responsive. Nothing can undermine the need for a great tasting and good quality meal. However, with pressures on the industry to source the sheer quantity needed to feed our appetites and for consumers to pay for it, we’re going to see a lot more on interest in this area. Brands that create a great product and manage to effectively educate the market will reap the rewards.”

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 12:19

How TUCO are getting ready for GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement date is 25 May. This is also when the current Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced by a new Data Protection Act 2018 – and there are actions we need to take before this date.TUCO Framework and Call-Off agreements are being amended and will be used to replace existing data protection clauses, so that our contracts comply with the GDPR and the new Data Protection Act.

Which TUCO frameworks and contracts are being updated and what will happen?

We have taken a risk-based prioritisation approach to implementing GDPR into our frameworks and contracts:

  • Low risk – where there is minimal or no personal data involved no change will be made to include the new GDPR compliant clauses. However, and regardless of risk, we will make changes to T&Cs of all in progress tenders.
  • Medium to High risk – where suppliers’ process personal data, new Call-Off T&Cs will be uploaded to the TUCO website. TUCO will identify these agreements and once identified we will write to you to confirm the agreements. We will also ask suppliers to complete GDPR assessment questionnaires which will be assessed by TUCO and where necessary the Framework T&Cs with each supplier will be varied. 

What about my ongoing call-off contracts?  

We will upload to the TUCO website, variations to Call-Off T&Cs and variation guidance, for members to follow. Members will be able to use the T&Cs or update their own Call-Off T&Cs, if used.Members will be responsible for issuing the variation to make these changes into any of your call-off contracts involving the processing of personal data. By mid April we will write to you and advise the agreements and suppliers and confirm the revised Call-Off T&Cs and variation guidance and framework T&Cs available.

Do suppliers have to accept the change? 

Yes, they are under a duty to comply with law, and the GDPR requires them to insert these provisions.

What are the key dates? 

The GDPR comes into force on 25 May 2018. Therefore, consortia and members must have contract clauses changed before this date. 
We are aiming to ensure that all framework changes are signed by the end of April. We will confirm to you when this has been done.
You will then have until 25 May to vary the changes to your call-off contracts.

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 12:54

Business Development Manager Vacancy

This is a new, and critical, role for TUCO we are looking for a talented, enthusiastic person who must be at ease communicating with directors within our membership. You will be involved in a diverse range of creative projects and events where your ideas will be developed, and you will have input into key decisions in further raising attention to the TUCO brand.

We are looking for an energetic person with a keen work ethic and ability to engage and build relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. A business development professional, who has a robust commercial skillset. Knowledge and experience of the education sector and/or hospitality would be advantageous, and in return we offer a generous package.  For more information and to apply click here

Simon Law has recently joined the University of Exeter from Compass Group, as Director of Catering and Retail Services.

The main priorities of his role are the student experience, developing a team committed to providing an excellent service and continuing to enhance the catering and retail offer at the University. Simon is focused on ensuring high standards, creating an international experience and a wide range of healthy eating choices, whilst ensuring value for money for customers.

During his time at Compass Group, Simon worked across several territories (including Germany, Gibraltar and the South Atlantic Islands), looking after the strategic direction and delivery of catering, food and beverage services. He has over 10 years’ experience providing catering for the defence sector and has spent time with the national retail chain Morrisons.

Speaking of his appointment, Simon said: “I am passionate about retail and catering. Exeter has already got a very strong reputation within the University sector for providing award winning catering and a diverse retail offer and I look forward to working with the teams to develop this further.” 

Thursday, 01 March 2018 10:14

Hugo Mahoney named as CEO, Brakes UK

Hugo Mahoney, who joined Brakes ten months ago as Chief Commercial Officer, has already made an impact across the business, drawing on a wealth of commercial leadership experience gained in a range of sectors including technology and FMCG.

Ajoy Karna, Sysco’s Senior Vice President, International - Europe said:


“Since joining Brakes, Hugo has demonstrated that he has the leadership qualities required to lead Brakes on the next step of its journey.  His broad range of experience gives us a different perspective on our opportunities as well as our challenges and both we, and our customers, are already seeing the benefits of this.”     

Speaking of his new role, which is effective from 1st March 2018, Mahoney said: 


“Brakes is a great business and with the power of Sysco behind us, the investment that has been made over the past few years sets us in very good stead to continue building a great future.  We fully expect to enhance our position as the UK’s leading delivered wholesaler and our customers’ most valued and trusted business partner.”

UK shoppers continue to show their support for Fairtrade, with new independent sales figures revealing that retail sales for Fairtrade grew by 7% in 2017, alongside increased business engagement.  

The independent data from Kantar Worldpanel underline the extent to which the UK public continue to support Fairtrade. Volumes were also up, with a 2.5% growth in the 52 weeks ending 31 December 2017.

The figures back up the findings of the Fairtrade Foundation, which show public support for Fairtrade at an all-time high. New data shows that 93% of people are aware of Fairtrade while 83% of people trust the Fairtrade Mark.

Among the best performing categories was Fairtrade alcohol, which saw volume growth of 29%, driven in part by the continued growth of Co-op’s Own Label Fairtrade wine as well as Tesco expanding their range of Finest Fairtrade wine. Elsewhere, the volume of frozen confectionary sold grew by more than 30%, with 2017 the year Ben and Jerry’s launched their Non Dairy ice cream – a Fairtrade first in the UK.

These figures represent only one part of the Fairtrade picture, as they exclude out of home sales, through coffee shops and other outlets and the impact of Fairtrade’s wider programme partnership work with companies such as Mondelez and Waitrose.

During the course of 2017 Fairtrade saw continued support from business. Among the more notable developments were: Co-op’s commitment to switching all the cocoa it uses to Fairtrade and Waitrose’s commitment to making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade.

Fairtrade is exploring new ways of working with business and has undertaken a supply chain mapping and transparency pilot, funded by the Department for International Development. Through this work Fairtrade is well placed to play an influential role as a partner to businesses looking to tackle human rights abuses and modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

It’s a scandalous reality that millions of farmers and workers around the world are still being ripped off, despite working hard to provide the products we love. Despite the advances made by Fairtrade much more needs to be done.

The Fairtrade Foundation is calling on Fairtrade businesses to demonstrate why they support Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and show the impact it can have.

Commercial developments this Fairtrade Fortnight include:

  • Co-op becomes the first retailer to only use 100% Fairtrade roses when sourced from Africa in all of its flower bouquets. The move will see almost 35 million Fairtrade roses being sourced from Africa each year.
  • Both Aldi and Lidl have entered into global agreements with Fairtrade to increase the use of Fairtrade cocoa in their confectionery category across the UK and Europe. 
  • Divine Chocolate announced its highest ever turnover (£14million) for the year 2016-17 with sales in the US passing the $10 million mark for the first time.

The news comes on the first day of the Fairtrade Fortnight “Come On In” campaign, calling on the public and businesses to stand with farmers to close the door on exploitation and ensure they get a fair deal.

The new figures are being released on the same day the Fairtrade Foundation unveiled a giant double doorway opening onto a scene from a banana farm on the Millennium Footbridge between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern, London.


Catherine David, Head of Commercial Partnerships said:


“It is wonderful to see the UK public continuing to support Fairtrade in getting a better deal for farmers and workers. We also continue to see amazing support from businesses who see the value in Fairtrade and the benefits it brings.

“We are always looking at new ways of working with our commercial partners, and our transparency work will allow companies to clearly see how working with Fairtrade can help their business.

“This Fairtrade Fortnight we are asking more people in the UK to come on in to Fairtrade and help forge a fairer future for the farmers and workers we rely on for many of our favourite products.”


Tony Rowson, Head of Retail at Greggs, a key Fairtrade commercial partner, said:

“As a responsible business, we believe in doing the right thing and are incredibly proud to be a long-standing partner of Fairtrade. A number of our products, including coffee, tea, sugar and bananas, are certified Fairtrade and we continue to add more items to the menu, including green tea and peppermint tea more recently.

“Having worked with Fairtrade for over ten years now, it has been incredible to see the positive impact and difference it makes to producer communities and we look forward to strengthening our relationship further in the future.”

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 07:57

Marketing Manager Vacancy

TUCO is the go-to organisation for thousands of hospitality professionals working in the higher and further education sectors across the UK.

For more than 500 universities and colleges, TUCO is a source of information, learning, inspiration and guidance. It reflects the fact that TUCO is firmly established as the leading professional membership body for in house caterers in further and higher education.

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic Marketing Manager to join our team, based at our new offices in Central Manchester.

You will be involved in a diverse range of creative projects and events where your ideas will be developed, and you will have input into key decisions in future raising attention to the TUCO brand.  To find out more and to apply for this role click here

McCain Foodservice is launching the What’s Hot report to help operators stand out in an ultra-competitive market where identifying opportunities and staying ahead of trends can make the difference between success and failure.

Jo Simmons, McCain Foods Senior Brand Manager, explains: “As new trends come and go, changes to what consumers eat, where they eat, and how they eat take place. Operators take influence from fresh new cuisines, bold new flavours make it on to menus, and new dining options emerge. Technology also has a big influence.

“With so many changes happening it can be hard to pick out the opportunities that will work for your business, and those that will make headlines and then disappear, so we’ve rounded up a few of the key ones that we believe can help caterers stay hot and ahead of the competition in the next year.”

Value Scrutiny

The slight downturn in the economy means consumers are scrutinising their spending more closely than ever. That doesn’t necessarily mean they want the cheapest option but they do want hearty portions, great value food and excellent standards of service.


A 6% rise in quick-service lunch visits shows convenience is a central part of customers’ decision-making, with rushed millennials leading hectic lives and preferring to grab high-quality hot bites while on the go. The popularity of meals like topped fries that can be eaten in the hand or on the go, or shared with friends can be seen as a response to this trend.


When consumers are dining in they’re increasingly viewing eating as an opportunity to socialise, catch up and take a break from the business of modern life. To provide for this, venues are offering food that’s easy to share, such as topped fries, communal seating, or taking a casual ‘pay first, leave whenever’ approach to service that creates a more casual environment. Cashless and waiter-less payment systems are helping operators to meet these needs.

Meals that look as good as they taste

Social media savvy diners not only want food to taste good they want it to look photogenic so they can take and share pictures with apps such as Instagram.

In response to this, foods that look and taste great are making a big impact on menus – think colourful roots, squashes, and vegetables, alongside vibrantly-coloured ingredients like bright yellow turmeric, dark red sumac and the now ubiquitous avocado.

Other key trends include Indulgence, Foodie Culture, Provenance and Sustainability, Healthy Eating, and Technology. To find out more about these trends and the opportunities they can provide visit http://www.mccainfoodservice.co.uk/whats-hot-2018/  to see the full report.


For more media information contact Nexus PR:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 020 7052 8839

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 020 7052 8860



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