News (260)


Eight English charities will receive grants from the Government’s £500,000 Food Waste Reduction Fund, administered by WRAP, to provide essential resources needed to expand their important work. The eight charities were chosen from more than 120 expressions of interest to the Fund and range from small to larger sized multi-site operations, located across England from Devon to County Durham. Individual grants range from £40,000 to £75,000, which together will help the eight redistribute an additional 2,500 tonnes of quality food to feed people in need – the equivalent of around six million meals*.

The announcement coincides with a new report from WRAP showing a significant upsurge in the amount of surplus food handled by charitable and commercial redistribution organisations, in the UK.

The latest WRAP research shows that surplus food redistribution from retailers, manufacturers and hospitality and food services businesses increased by 50% in just two years. WRAP’s report covers 2015, 2016 and 2017 and analyses data provided by the UK’s largest redistribution bodies; accounting for the majority of all surplus food handled. Specifically, the report reveals:

  • Charitable redistribution rose by around 80% over the two-year period, with an increase of 30% via commercial organisations.
  • The combined increase for charitable and commercial redistribution (14,500 tonnes or 50%) represents the equivalent of around an extra 35 million meals a year, bringing the 2017 total equivalent to 102 million meals.
  • The value of the food redistributed in 2017 was almost £130 million, with the increase from 2015 to 2017 worth over £40 million.
  • The manufacturing sector was the largest single source of redistributed food in 2017, followed by retail.
  • The supply of surplus food from the retail sector to charities has more than doubled (114% increase - the equivalent of an additional 15 million meals), and that from manufacture increased by 71% (the equivalent of an additional 7 million meals).

Retail is the largest supplier to the charitable redistribution sector, supplying 50-60% of the total surplus food with the manufacturing sector supplying 30-40%. The remainder comes from the hospitality and food service sector, and other sources such as logistics and wholesale.

As part of this announcement, WRAP has amended the 2015 baseline for UK redistribution. The 2015 estimate for redistribution has reduced substantially from 47,000 tonnes (published in 2016) to around 28,500 tonnes. This is due to both improvements to the research methodology, and to more robust and granular data from redistribution organisations. ***

Peter Maddox, Director WRAP said “It’s great to see such a rapid rise in redistribution and the growing number of partnerships between the supply chain and charities. This stops good food going to waste, and helps feed people. But we know there’s much more to do. Our research shows food redistributed, from manufacturers and retailers, could increase further by more than 200,000 tonnes.

“There’s potential too to source greater amounts of surplus food from other parts of the supply chain like primary production and the hospitality and food service sector. Our Courtauld 2025 Working Group is helping to forge new links, and supports both businesses and redistribution organisations in ensuring any surplus food arising is used to feed people, first. Businesses signatories have committed to doubling the amount they redistribute under Courtauld 2025 by 2020. Seeing these numbers, I am confident they will hit that target.”

Subject to contract, the eight charities receiving grants will demonstrate what can be achieved encouraging others to follow suit; with the C2025 Redistribution Working Group helping share best practice. They include:

  1. Action Homeless in Leicester – to upscale its current activities through investment to improve project co-ordination and logistics. The grant will help to hire a part-time food coordinator, purchase a new vehicle to redistribute food, lease a shared storage unit and improve facilities overall.
  2. His Church in London / the Midlands / the North West and North East – to expand current activities in all these locations and set up more programmes for children and families. The grant will be spent on developing facilities for collection and storage, and for purchasing a walk-in chiller and refrigerated van.
  3. FareShare in two centres in southern England – to run a pilot project to expand freezer capacity at both FareShare depots in the South of England and redistribute more frozen food. The grant will help purchase a walk-in freezer, chest freezers and pay for additional staffing and transport costs.
  4. FareShare Yorkshire – to purchase a 7.5-ton lorry as well as cover its maintenance and additional staff costs, including training. The new vehicle will be used to intercept larger quantities of food that cannot currently be collected by van.
  5. Feedback Global in Southwest & Southeast England – to establish a community-led gleaning network to increase the number of days they can glean by an extra 36 days per year. The funding will cover staff costs including an outreach manager and two coordinators, and costs associated with running the gleaning days (equipment and volunteer expenses).
  6. Food in Community in South Hams Devon – to build on the community interest company’s successful Totnes scheme and introduce a range of activities in Newton Abbot. These include opening a Pay-As-You-Feel café, piloting a surplus produce delivery scheme, gleaning activities and cookery courses. The grant will allow the organisation to purchase an electric van, with staff costs, and IT equipment.
  7. Nuneaton & Bedworth Healthy Living Network in Warwickshire – to allow the charity to double the number of community groups it services to 280, and double the number of breakfast clubs it runs. The grant will help with staff costs, increase warehouse capacity, and purchase a walk-in fridge-freezer.
  8. REfUSE Durham in County Durham – to turn a recently acquired warehouse space into a food redistribution hub and increase the capacity for its existing operations. The social enterprise can now introduce new projects to benefit the local community including a Pay-As-You-Feel café with manager and staff, and purchasing a walk-in fridge-freezer.




*Based on the assumption of an average meal weighing 420g (based on the average of a range of typical meal weights, using data derived from Food Portion Sizes, FSA 2008). This does not imply that this many balanced meals could be made from the food surplus, but illustrates what the amount of food surplus might equate to.

**Examples of innovative redistribution models include…

*** In the restatement of tonnage redistributed in 2015, circa 70% of the tonnage difference resulted from the removal of data on non-food products (for example home and personal care items) from data supplied by one of the redistribution organisations. 

TUCO member Nottingham University is the UK’s leading university for sustainable seafood after it was awarded the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) University of the Year in their annual awards.

It’s the second year Nottingham has been awarded the title for serving the highest number of certified sustainable dishes to its students.

The MSC awards also highlighted latest research showing millennials are leading the way in sustainable seafood - with 52% of 18-34 year olds stating they prefer to choose ecolabelled fish and seafood. That’s in comparison to 37% of those over 55 years old in the UK.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international NGO, whose aim is to keep the world’s oceans teeming with life, and safeguard seafood supplies for this and future generations. Its Blue Fish label and certification programme recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices, and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market.

The award sees Nottingham University rubbing shoulders with retailers, such as Waitrose who won Fish Counter of the Year, as well as a big name in the seafood world, chef Mitch Tonks, who was named Chef of the Year for championing sustainable seafood across his Rockfish restaurant chain for almost ten years.

Nicola Penn, Procurement Business Manager at Nottingham University, explains what the award means to them: “We are delighted to have received the MSC University of the Year award for the second year. Students are increasingly demanding more sustainably sourced and healthier food options on campus, and we really take pride in providing sustainably sourced food.  MSC certification reassures our students we are buying quality and sustainably sourced fish. We are proud to say that all our fish can be traced back to independently certified sustainable fisheries.”

Loren Hiller, Commercial Officer at Marine Stewardship Council said: “As one of the first universities to offer sustainable seafood to their students since 2012, it’s fantastic to see the University of Nottingham winning the University of the Year award for the second year running. Nottingham have demonstrated their commitment to supporting sustainable fishing and safeguarding seafood supplies, meaning their students can be sure they are making a sustainable choice every time they choose a fish dish with the Blue Fish label.”

Thursday, 05 July 2018 13:38

Refreshed NETpositive Supplier Tool

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In consultation with institutional users and the project Steering Group NETpositive have updated the Supplier Tool content.

Along with a fresh design, this includes:

  • Links made to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Signposting to updated sustainability guidance
  • More challenging sustainability actions presented to suppliers

Best practice sustainability takes some keeping up with! When the NETpositive Supplier Tool launched just over two years ago, conversations about single-use plastic, fair pay or modern slavery were not so well established as they are now. The guidance, support and challenge we provide to our suppliers needs to keep pace.

4000 suppliers to HE are using the tool to create Sustainability Action Plans for their business, as well as being based on leading-edge sustainability thinking these plans now align better with sector priorities.

For more information on the Supplier Engagement Tool visit:

TUCO member the University of Manchester hospitality and events team has scooped the Sustainable Business Award at the UK’s most prestigious hospitality and catering awards, the Cateys. The Cateys showcase innovative brands and trail-blazing people from across hotels, restaurants, foodservice and pubs & bars. Hospitality and Events (H & E) is the department at The University of Manchester that operates its café’s, restaurants and hospitality services across campus. Including Food On Campus, Taste Manchester, Christies Bistro, Conferences & Events, Food in Residence and Chancellors Hotel,

Alison Shedlock, Head of Hospitality and Events said “We are thrilled that the University Hospitality and Events team have won the Sustainable Business Award, at the 2018 Catey’s, the UK’s most prestigious hospitality and catering awards. This highlights our continued commitment to providing our customers with the best quality food, drink and service whilst remaining completely focused on our value of sustainability and the Universities wider goal of social responsibility”

TUCO Chairman Matt White, who was also shortlisted for this year’s Public Sector Cateys Awards adds:

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Alison Shedlock and Emma Stansfield from The University of Manchester after them winning the 2018 Cateys, Sustainability Award. The catering team’s work at Manchester University is really quite exemplary and it is particularly pleasing to see this innovative work recognised by what are considered the highest accolades in our industry, the Cateys Awards. Manchester University is truly part of our TUCO family and this work that the award recognises will be shared with colleagues in HE and FE catering departments across the country via our key pillars of #Share #Learn #Grow.”

The University of Manchester Goal 3 is Social Responsibility, which ensures that sustainability is embedded into everything the University does. H & E has targets set in the University Sustainable Resources plan. It is committed to offering healthy and sustainable catering that is produced, processed and traded in ways that:

  • Contribute to the local economies and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Avoid damaging our planet.
  • Enhance animal welfare.
  • Provide social benefits.

Year on year they have improved their impact on the planet and society with a number of key initiatives in the past five years including: 

  • Introduction of Meat Free Mondays
  • Introduced Organic Milk and 54% of our Beef is Organic in Catered Halls
  • Formed a partnership with Manchester Veg Box Scheme
  • Introduced tray free dining in Catered Halls, encouraging students to select what they actually will eat rather than fill their tray, food Waste Recycling in our Dining areas in catered halls.
  • Food Waste Recycling into all our kitchens across campus
  • Opened a Vegetarian Café on Campus
  • Implemented a Land Army Student volunteer scheme
  • Daily Vegan option delivered in Catered Halls
  • Introduced Wonky Veg campaign in Catered Halls
  • Paid the National Living Wage Foundation rate to all Catering Staff.
  • Delivery of an annual food sustainability event  Compostable hot drinks cups and takeaway packaging introduced
  • Marine Stewardship Council Certification awarded to Food In Residence (Catered Halls)
  • Introduced a re-useable mug a bamboo Eco Cup mug and an incentive to reuse which included a reusable water bottle.
  • Deliver a fresh fruit and veg stall each Wednesday to students using when possible Manchester Veg people produce (Organic Local produce)
  • Food waste is distributed through “Humanity Giving Back” a charity that distributes this to organisations across Manchester who support vulnerable people.
  • Introduced a street food market in 2016 that provides a weekly market on campus for local artisan food producers and local street food vendors



Take on the charity's 'Plastic Challenge' to try and detox your life of the planet's substance of convenience  

With more plastic than fish (by weight) in our seas predicted to be a possibility by 2050, our reliance on plastic in all its forms is clear. 

We’re in a plastic pickle.

With the nightmare that plastic pollution is creating in our oceans now high on political, personal and news agendas, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK's leading marine charity, is once again throwing down the gauntlet to the public to take on its Plastic Challenge.  

MCS is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole of July.  

Simon Reeve, TV presenter and MCS Ocean Ambassador, says “Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society. That’s why I’m supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this July as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Don’t just get depressed about plastic - stop using it!” 

The charity has run the Plastic Challenge for the last four years – and has been supported in doing so by BRITA UK since 2016. More than 1,000 people took part in 2016, and last year over 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic. That includes food packaged in plastic, plastic water bottles, plastic milk bottles, shower gels, toothpaste and pasta to name but a very few! 

 “This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like” says Dr. Sue Kinsey MCS Technical Specialist. “But however you choose to do it you won't fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we’ve become. Some things are really tough to replace however much you want to give up single-use plastic”. 

"The support we had last year was amazing and we know, from the comments we received on social media, that for many, this month is the start of a lifestyle change." 

Among the things people found hardest to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste. 

MCS says that many people who take on the challenge really do get stuck in. 

“They know why it’s so important to cut down on our plastic use," says Dr Kinsey. "If these dedicated ditchers found it hard to find non single use plastic alternatives then that just goes to show how plastic dominates our lives even if you actively don’t want it to." 

This year MCS hopes even more people will try and give up single use plastic during July. The BBC's Blue Planet II brought the issue of plastic pollution in our seas into the UK's sittings rooms at the back end of last year and this year there's also more help and advice available than before to help Challengers.  

MCS has written a book on the living life without plastic: "How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox" (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3) 

The book takes you through an average day giving tips and practical advice on how to remove unnecessary plastic at every opportunity. From getting up to going to bed you can find out about plastic-free cosmetics, mealtimes, shopping, workplace, pets, sporting and special events.        

Last year Challengers made their own bread, yogurt, cleaning and bathroom products like mouthwash and sugar scrubs so as not to use plastic containers that are used once and then thrown out. 

MCS beach cleaning data has revealed a rise of 180% of plastic litter found on beaches in the last two decades posing a huge threat to wildlife and humans. Plastic bags, bottles and tiny plastic pieces, are regularly found in the stomachs of turtles and other sea creatures and in some cases have caused their death from starvation or choking. 

“Reducing plastic litter will certainly be an uphill climb - but there are some easy steps to take and if we can all cut down the amount we use there’s no doubt our marine environment will be a healthier place” says Dr. Kinsey. “People taking on the Plastic Challenge are often shocked to find out just how much single-use plastic is used every day. Have a go and even if you can only manage a single day and you’ll never look at your shopping in the same way again!” 

The Plastic Challenge is once again being sponsored by water filtration company BRITA UK. Becky Widdowson is BRITA UK's Marketing Director: ”It’s fantastic to be supporting the Plastic Challenge alongside MCS once again. At BRITA UK we believe it is absolutely vital that we step up to protect marine life from the unnecessary damage done by single use plastic bottles and other forms of plastic litter. One or two small changes such as carrying a refillable bottle or a reusable bag or opting out of disposable bottled water when we buy our lunch or go to the gym, could have such an enormous positive impact. Given that 60 per cent of people would be willing to switch from bottled water to more environmentally friendly alternatives it’s clear this can be done."  

Sign up to take part in the Plastic Challenge at:   

"How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox" (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3) is available to buy now. For details visit:

In order to raise awareness of how difficult it is to live with a food allergy Jacqui McPeake, from Allergen Accreditation, invites chefs and caterers (& those with an interest in food!) to eliminate one or more allergens from their diet for 2 weeks.

This will enable the volunteer to understand the daily issues that someone with allergies face. The challenge will highlight the problems going shopping and checking labels for allergens, cooking at home with other family members who do not have any restrictions in their diet and going out to eat at work, a restaurant or bar etc. (And just going out for a drink!)

Challengers should then report back on their experiences via #onemcpeakechallenge or Facebook.

The challenge will help those within the catering industry to appreciate the problems that customers with food allergies face when eating out.

Registration is now open via the Anaphylaxis Campaign “MyDonate”, to ensure all proceeds go directly there.

Guidance notes will be issued as well as a medical bulletin, as the volunteer must not undertake this challenge if they have any existing health concerns and if during the challenge they feel unwell then they should not put their health at risk. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 14:07

TUCO Procurement Services

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Every year TUCO purchase more than £140million in goods and services for members, through 20 EU compliant framework agreements. This enables us to deliver savings to members in excess of £10million per annum. With more than 200 quality assured suppliers spanning the whole of the UK, our frameworks incorporate national, local and regional suppliers, offering even more choice to members. 

With our continuous drive for improvement, we seek to maximise financial value for our members. Offering bespoke opportunities to expand knowledge base and personal development, benefitting not only members individually but institutions too. Our not for profit procurement services offer a more consistent and efficient procurement process, with a full time CIPS qualified team dedicated to cutting costs.

Find out more about our Procurement Services here and how we can help you save money through smarter procurement. 

Monday, 25 June 2018 11:29

Pricing Bulletin 29/05/18 to 25/06/18

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Please note there is revised pricing on the following agreements


Catering Disposables and Chemicals (DipChem)


Frozen & Chilled Foods

Fruit & Veg


Innovative Food Concepts (IFC)

Meat & Poultry

Milk & Bread



Please note there are updated product files for the below suppliers                                                       

Catering Disposables and Chemicals (DipChem)


Catering Light & Heavy Equipment

Fresh Seafood

Innovative Food Concepts

Milk & Bread



For all new promotions visit dedicated promotions website page.                                                    

 New documents

Monday, 25 June 2018 10:31

TUCO Efficiency Review

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A personalised, independent, measure of your performance.

We know how difficult it can be to objectively assess how well you’re doing versus your competitors. Which is why we’ve teamed up with the Litmus Partnership – a leading consultancy – to offer TUCO members the opportunity for an independent performance assessment and review, with a competitor’s eye.

The Efficiency Review will independently measure your performance and provide valuable metrics that you can act upon to improve take-up, spend per head and your margin. At a cost of £1,200 (ex VAT) for members, we see the Review as a key investment in the future of university catering managed in-house.

But don’t just take our word for it. We piloted the Review with three institutions; Cardiff University, Reading University and University of Leeds. See what they had to say below:

Cardiff University: “The TUCO Efficiency Review provided key strategic business intelligence that helped build and support our catering strategy. An excellent business tool that we will use again to measure our progress.”

Reading University: “It’s that fresh pair of eyes looking at the operation that brings a new and exciting perspective.”

University of Leeds: “It was interesting that many of the recommendations aligned with our current plans, whilst also giving us a few new ideas. We are considering using the review as a regular independent audit to ensure we are demonstrating continuous improvement.”

Click here to read more about how the Efficiency Review can benchmark your performance and take a look at an example report.

To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) reveals that 43 percent of adults surveyed admit that they find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets, with changing information, messages and advice from media and experts being the biggest causes for confusion (76 percent and 61 percent respectively).

The survey, conducted as part of BNF Healthy Eating Week, questioned almost 500 adults across the UK and found that social media platforms (37 percent) are the most common reported source for nutritional information for adults. Under a third (30 percent) of respondents said that they use the NHS website, a quarter visit other health websites and 14 percent said that they gather nutritional information from a doctor, hospital or health clinic.

Roy Ballam, BNF’s Managing Director and Head of Education, said: “With two thirds of adults overweight or obese, the UK is in the middle of an obesity crisis – and a lack of consumer knowledge and reliable information on healthy eating is a huge cause for concern. In the digital age, with growing concerns about the trustworthiness of information in the media, many are confused about which online sources are reliable – unsurprising when there is so much conflicting advice available. The public need to receive more consistent messaging about diet and nutrition if we are to stand a fighting chance of changing these worrying health statistics”. 

Two thirds (68 percent) of survey respondents reported that they are motivated to eat healthily to control their weight and, when shopping for food, 61 percent of adults said they always or often check nutrition labels on food. Two thirds or more of people surveyed said that the calories (64 percent), sugar (68 percent) and fat (60 percent) are the things they look for on nutrition labels. 

Almost half (48 percent) of adults surveyed say that busy lives and stress play a large role in stopping them from eating healthily. 40 percent of adults said that being too tired after work is the main reason for not being active.  

Ballam said: “It is really encouraging to see that people are motivated to eat well and to check the nutritional content of the foods they buy, however there are clearly many who are struggling to put this into action because they are too busy, stressed or tired. We need to find evidence-based, practical ways to make it easier to be healthy that fit in with people’s daily lives”.

The survey also showed a number of different factors that affect people’s food choices when at work or university. A third of adults said that high workload makes it difficult to eat well and they find it difficult to take a proper lunch break, and a quarter said they do not have enough time to prepare healthy foods when at work. 24 percent of respondents said there are limited healthy food and drink options available at work or close by and 28 percent said there were too many unhealthy snacks available in their work setting. 
Ballam continued: “We know that a key to reducing obesity is changing behaviour – some of this will come from government and local environments making it easier for people to change. The results from this survey show that the main motivation for being healthy is weight control, however there seem to be a number of barriers within workplaces and universities that make this difficult. Encouraging work settings to engage more with health may be an effective way of helping people put their good intentions into action and we’ve seen an excellent response to BNF Healthy Eating Week for workplaces and universities this year, with over 1,400 organisations participating”.



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TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

t: 01474 520 267 e:

Contact Us

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