Anjali Dattani

Anjali Dattani

Set your place at Mary’s Meals Big Family Christmas dinner table and give the gift of hope to children receiving Mary's Meals.

This year, the cost of a typical Christmas dinner could be up to £20 per person. But by setting a place at Mary’s Meals virtual table for just £13.90 you will feed a child at a place of education in some of the world's poorest communities for an entire school year. After all, there's always room for one more at Christmas.

What's more, the new campaign, Double The Love, will see the UK government match public donations to Mary’s Meals until 1 March 2019.

The UK government funding means public donations to Double The Love will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million. This will enable Mary’s Meals to reach thousands more chronically hungry children in Zambia with a life-changing meal every school day.

The Double The Love campaign was officially announced in Dalmally, Argyll, where the global work of Mary’s Meals first began.

And there was a double treat in store for the charity’s founder and global chief executive Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow when he visited the village primary school to celebrate the news.

Two sets of identical twins, four-year-olds Grace and Flora MacDougall, and eight-year-olds Ed and Ollie Cowdry, welcomed him to Dalmally Primary.

Commenting on today’s launch, Magnus said: “We had a wonderful welcome at Dalmally Primary School, where the children are always so enthusiastic about the work of Mary’s Meals.

“Our wonderful supporters of all ages never cease to amaze us with their love and kindness. With match funding from the UK government, we have a wonderful opportunity to create an even bigger impact and transform the lives of many, many more hungry children with the gift of food and education.”

Zambia suffers from high rates of malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity. Children can often be found working in fields, begging on street corners or scavenging for food just to survive. More than 360,000 primary school-age children are out of school, and those who do attend are often so hungry they don’t have the energy to concentrate and learn in class.

But, by providing one good meal every day in school, Mary’s Meals attracts impoverished children to the classroom where they can gain an all-important education.

Mary’s Meals has been working with communities in Zambia since 2014 and is now feeding more than 92,000 children there every school day.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Every time the British public reach into their pockets and donate to a UK Aid Match charity their generosity directly changes the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“In Zambia many children do not attend school. Instead they work in the fields, beg on street corners and scavenge for food. The UK government is committed to ensuring that every child across the world receives 12 years of quality education.

“That is why we are so proud to support Mary’s Meals through UK Aid Match. The ‘Double the Love’ campaign will ensure that Zambian children are given a nutritious school-meal every day. Their vital work not only gets children back into school, but it also means that those children do not go hungry.”

Around the world, Mary’s Meals is reaching 1,361,586 impoverished children in 17 countries, giving them the energy and opportunity to gain an education that can one day be their ladder out of poverty.

With the charity’s low cost approach, a donation of just £13.90 will feed a child for a whole school year. During Double The Love, that same donation, when matched by the UK government, will feed two hungry children for an entire school year.

To set a place at Mary’s Meals Big Family Christmas dinner table, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk/big-family-christmas-table

For further information on the Double The Love appeal, and to find out how to get involved, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk

There are an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK every year, and without attention to food hygiene, this doesn’t stop during the festive season.

To save your loved ones from a nasty bout of food poisoning over the holidays, follow these tips from the Food Standards Agency to keep your festive season truly the most wonderful time of the year. 

FOOD POISONING DURING THE FESTIVITIES

Cooking a Christmas roast for a large gathering can be a challenge, and it is vital that the turkey, or other meat of choice, is stored, defrosted and cooked correctly. Likewise, leftovers from Christmas need to be reheated and consumed within specific timeframes in order to avoid food poisoning.

While many people mistakenly think that food poisoning is just a passing stomach bug, it can have serious consequences – especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people.

Adam Hardgrave, Expert in Foodborne Disease Control at the Food Standards Agency, said: “The 4Cs of food hygiene: chilling, cleaning, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination are important throughout the year, but especially at Christmas.”

“In the flurry of Christmas preparations, it’s important to remember to plan ahead and allow plenty of time. Remember that an average-sized turkey can take four days to fully defrost in the fridge, and it is vital to thoroughly cook a turkey so it is steaming hot, there is no pink meat visible, and juices run clear.”

TOP TIPS

The FSA has put together some top tips to help you plan your festive feast, and to alleviate some of the stress of preparing your Christmas meal.

BEFORE THE BIG DAY

1.SHOPPING

Avoid cross-contamination when doing your Christmas food shopping: make sure you take enough bags, so you can pack raw and ready-to-eat food separately.

2.STORING THE TURKEY      

In the fridge, store the turkey and other raw food separately from cooked and ready-to-eat food. Keep raw food covered and chilled on the bottom shelf of the fridge, and regularly check that

the fridge is cold enough. Your fridge should always be below 5°C. A fridge’s dial is not usually an accurate indicator of the temperature, so use a fridge thermometer to check this, widely available in larger supermarkets, home stores and online.

3.DEFROSTING YOUR TURKEY

If your turkey is frozen, make sure you check the guidance on the packaging to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it. Defrost it according to size – a typical turkey weighting 6 to 7kg could take as much time as four days to fully defrost in the fridge.

If there aren’t instructions on the packaging, these times are useful as a guide:

  • In a fridge at 4°C, allow around 10 to 12 hours per kg (remember that not all fridges will be this temperature).
  • In a cool room (below 17.5°

Always defrost the turkey in a container large enough to catch any juices. Do not defrost food at room temperature. If necessary, use a microwave on the ‘defrost setting’ directly before cooking.

CHRISTMAS DAWNS!

4.PREPARING YOUR TURKEY

Avoid cross-contamination by using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for ready-to-eat food and raw food. Don’t wash raw turkey or any other meat – it splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops. Thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present.

5.COOKING THE TURKEY

To work out the cooking time for the turkey or other meat, check the guidance on the packaging, and the manufacturer’s handbook for your oven if you can.

As a general guide, allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes for a turkey under 4.5kg. Allow 35 minutes per kg for a turkey weighing more than 6.5kg.

6.USING A TEMPERATURE PROBE OR COOKING THEMOMETER

If you’re using a temperature probe – used to check the internal temperature occasionally – you should ensure the thickest part of the bird (between breast and thigh) reaches a temperature of 70°C for more than two minutes. This temperature guide also applies if you’re using a cooking thermometer – which is left in the bird while it cooks.

7.CHECKING IT’S COOKED

Always check that the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part, and that the meat juices run clear.

8.TIME SAVING HOT TURKEY TIP

Cooking your turkey in advance could save you getting stressed and gives you more time on the day with family and friends. Once your turkey is cooked and cooled, slice and batch it into portions to store in the freezer. You can then take out and reheat the amount you need when you need it.

POST-CHRISTMAS PAUSE

9.LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS

Once Christmas day is over and you have lots of delicious leftovers, be sure to follow these guidelines.

  • Cool any leftovers at room temperature, then cover them and ensure they go into the fridge or freezer within one to two hours
  • If you freeze cooked meats, once defrosted, eat the food within 24 hours
  • When you come to use frozen leftovers, make sure you defrost them thoroughly in the fridge overnight or in the microwave (on the defrost setting) and then reheat until steaming hot
  • Don’t forget that leftovers should be eaten or frozen within two days (one day for rice dishes)

10.HAPPY SEASON’S EATINGS

Once you’ve followed these gudielines around food hygiene, it’s time to sit down to a perfectly cooked meal with your loved ones, and enjoy this festive season.

 

For more information visit: www.food.gov.uk/seasons-eatings

Newman University is seeking to recruit a highly motivated Head of Campus and Commercial Services. 

The post holder will lead on the Campus and Commercial services across the University, managing significant contracts and leading teams of people and processes. You will also be responsible for income generating business streams across various departments ranging from accommodation, sports facilities, conferences and various food outlets, and under your leadership will increase income generation in these areas. The successful candidate will have significant experience of managing commercial and soft services, with formal training and education relevant to this role e.g. HNC, HND.

Management experience in a similar environment is also essential, together with the ability to deliver growth within business areas, recognise opportunities and develop proposals to increase income generation. The post holder will be experienced in managing risks and compliance, and will have proven skills and abilities to lead teams of staff and external suppliers to deliver the highest quality services for students, staff, visitors and our partners. The role is extensive and varied so excellent communication skills and the ability to promote teamwork and engagement are essential. You will also enhance the student, staff and visitor experience at the University and have a great passion for enhancing the customer experience.

Working hours are operated on a rota basis from Monday to Friday; however the post will also involve some evening and weekend work during peak times.

An application form and further details about the role is available here or alternatively please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0121 476 1181, Ext 2456 or 2398. Closing date for applications: 5pm, Tuesday 20th November 2018

TUCO has launched the results of its most recent Benchmarking Against the High Street report. The research, completed by The Litmus Partnership, enables members to track their prices on a quarterly basis against that of the high street. The report, the latest of which covers the period July - Sept 2018, shows analysis by category, outlet, product, region and university demographic. The latest report saw an average increase of 16.4% on university prices compared to 2017/18. 

To view the latest report click here

You are still able to submit your annual pricing if you complete the form below. You will only need to complete the survey once, if you have annual pricing. However, you are able to remove products and add-on any that you may additionally sell later in the year, meaning you can add prices at any time via the same tool. 

We hope you find the report useful in showing how high street prices are fluctuating compared to your own.

Key actions businesses should take to help curb the situation of plastic packaging polluting the environment have been laid out by WRAP in The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025, published today. 

The actions relate to a series of important milestones aligned with the targets of The UK Plastics Pact, the world’s first programme to tackle the issue of plastic waste through collaboration across the entire supply chain; with the UK acting as a testbed for a planned network of country-specific, global Plastics Pacts. 

The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 provides a framework for all businesses, including members, to deliver the ambitious targets. Together, UK Plastic Pact member businesses are responsible for eighty per cent of plastic packaging sold through UK supermarkets, and half of all packaging placed on the market. The Roadmap is a guide for businesses and others to know what actions need to be taken, by when, and outlines some of the key challenges that will need to be overcome. It has been designed by WRAP as a living document that will evolve over time, reflecting changes in policy and innovations. The Roadmap also includes commentary on the complementary roles of Government and citizens to ensure the UK moves towards a circular economy for plastics. 

Achieving the milestones will bring huge benefits for the UK says WRAP but will require tough decisions to be taken and significant investment made. Publication of the Roadmap precedes the forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy, which is expected to outline policies that will help drive forward the plastics agenda. 

Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP explains; “We have sixty-eight of the UK’s largest businesses and organisations committed to the UK Plastics Pact from retail and brands, manufacturers and hospitality, to the plastic supply sector, recycling and resource management. I’m very impressed with progress made in the first six months since we launched the Pact. This is proving to be a powerful and motivated group. The Roadmap is a real opportunity for them to forge ahead and make change happen at scale, and in significant ways.

“But these targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part. Factors like Extended Producer Responsibility are going to have a profound influence on momentum, and effecting change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing.”

The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 aims to move plastics from being a single-use disposable material to a valued resource, in line with the circular economy model, while avoiding unintended environmental consequences of actions such as substitution or blanket removal which could lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and/or increased food waste. 

The outcomes of the Roadmap will help reduce confusion as to whether packaging is recyclable; if the targets are achieved all plastic packaging will be recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The roadmap also sets interim targets for increasing recycling and recycled content. Achieving this will require investment in the UK recycling infrastructure and would be expected to generate new jobs, while easing the pressure of plastic waste exportation. 

WRAP has set three key milestones dates: April 2019, the end of 2022 and finally by 2025. 

WRAP will also look to utilise flagship projects to tackle the barriers to improved sorting, recycling and use of recycled content. To support this a £1.4 million flagship projects competition was launched at the UK Plastics Pact Summit, in October. The competition forms part of the £20 million Plastic Research and Innovation fund, which was announced by the Chancellor during the Autumn Statement in 2017, to engage Britain's best scientists and innovators towards sustainable approaches to plastics.

The need to drive demand for recycled content was highlighted in the recent budget proposal from the Chancellor, which sets out to consult on a new tax to all plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content. It is hoped that members’ support, coupled with Government intervention, will send a strong signal about recycled content to the market, creating demand to help investment in recycling infrastructure. 

Next steps

WRAP will continue to encourage UK Plastics Pact members to work collaboratively to influence design and selection of packaging materials and products; both own label & branded. In the coming months WRAP will publish further guidance on recyclability, including the recyclability of card-based packaging. To achieve the roadmap milestones, members will need to create their own action plans that support each target. WRAP will monitor progress and identify the opportunities for sharing good practice and convening collaborative action.

WRAP is leading several work streams ahead of the first milestone, including the development of a strategy for recycling household film and a number of trial projects, as well as developing criteria for unnecessary and problematic plastics, and options to tackle them. 

The sustainability experts continue to work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to support a global network of Plastics Pacts and has been approached by several international governments and organisations to replicate the model in other countries.

The 14th edition of the prestigious Green Gown Awards Ceremony gathered 87 finalist institutions in 12 different categories for an unforgettable evening on Thursday 8th November. Representing over 1 million students, 172,000 staff and a combined annual turnover of £15 billion, these institutions are proving their value to the economy and society. Organised by the EAUC, the Ceremony was held in the home of iconic locomotives and engineering brilliance, The National Railway Museum in York in conjunction with the University of York and York St John University.

Showing institutions are not bound around a specific theme or size when it comes to exceptional initiatives, winners ranged from Stockport Continuing Education Service to Glasgow Kelvin College to the University of Edinburgh with projects as diverse as health and wellbeing opportunities for individuals in recovery from addiction dependency to food waste behaviour change to sea water greenhouses with global impact.

The Awards saw guests from institutions, companies and organisations across the UK and Ireland come to celebrate the educational initiatives, staff, and students helping address some of the most pressing global challenges. For the second year running, finalists mapped their entry against the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the most popular being ‘sustainable cities and communities’, ‘responsible consumption and production’ and ‘quality education’.

To keep everyone in suspense, for the first time ever attendees voted live for the winner of ‘Outstanding Leadership Team of the Year’. Driven by the motto: “Together everybody achieves more!” Keele University triumphed to win this accolade. Commenting on gaining two Awards on the night for Benefitting Society and Next Generation Learning and Skills, University of the Arts London Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Carrington said: "Winning two Green Gown Awards recognises and celebrates the fantastic sustainability work taking place within the UAL community. Our Sustainability Manifesto guides our focus through a holistic set of themes, increasing engagement with sustainability and catalysing progress within and beyond our institution."

University of Edinburgh received the Sustainability Institution of the Year Award for the continuous work to adopt a whole institution approach and become a more socially responsible and sustainable university. Professor Lesley McAra, Assistant Principal Community Relations said: “The efforts of our staff, students and partnership working are essential to deliver the programmes that will ensure we achieve our vision of being a socially responsible and sustainable university. Public recognition provides us with an opportunity to celebrate their enthusiasm and hard work.”

Iain Patton, CEO of the EAUC, co-hosted the ceremony alongside Helen Browning OBE, CEO of the Soil Association. Opening the awards, Iain said: “Tonight’s celebration emphasises the role of education in enabling and empowering young people to tackle the pressing global issues we are all facing. In their commitment to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland are proving that they are leading through their research, enterprise and education for the next generation that we need to provide the solutions.”

Helen Browning OBE, CEO of the Soil Association said: “Inspiring the next generation to take on the challenges of sustainability is an issue at the centre of my personal journey in food, farming and the environment so it’s wonderful to see the all the winners celebrated tonight. Food and how we produce it is at the heart of tackling many environmental challenges today so it’s also great to see the Soil Association accredit the award dinner menu through our Food for Life Served Here award.”

This year’s winners were as varied as ever. The Student Engagement Award went to Glasgow Kelvin College for their White Ribbon campaign to tackle gender violence against women on a global scale empowering staff and students to raise awareness of this societal challenge. Meanwhile, Aston University scooped the Research with Impact Award for their thorough study that has led to the development of cooling and desalination technologies to create seawater greenhouses that are enabling food to be grown sustainably in arid world regions. The Tomorrow’s Employees Award was claimed by University of Wales Trinity Saint David for their innovative approach to ensuring business graduates are equipped with skills and knowledge to become a part of the shaping of business thinking in the world for our next generations. The Campus of the Future Award went to Newcastle University for the building-as-a-lab (BaaL) concept dedicated to innovative and interdisciplinary sustainability research which stands as an exemplar for a lower carbon age. The building features a heating system fed by heat pumps, grid-integrated energy storage, photovoltaic (PV) and PV-thermal arrays.

The winners of Benefitting Society, Student Engagement and Sustainability Institution of the Year now go head to head with other global regional winners for the coveted International Green Gown Awards.

A new report from the UK’s leading sustainability experts WRAP shows for the first time the scale of milk wastes across the food chain, from processing to our homes, and highlights ways we can significantly reduce the 330,000* tonnes of total milk lost each year, worth more than £150 million. 

Milk waste in the home is by far the largest contributor, accounting for nearly 90% of UK milk waste with 290,000** tonnes thrown every year. This equates to more than 490 million pints of milk as a nation - or eighteen and a half pints per household.

Furthermore, milk waste in the supply chain, through breakages and leaks during transportation and in retail outlets, represents 30,000 tonnes; with an additional 13,000 tonnes of waste identified during processing.

WRAP’s report Opportunities to Reduce Waste along the Journey of Milk, from Dairy to Home identifies key actions that could help reduce this waste by an estimated 90,000 tonnes per year, offering a potential combined saving of upwards of £40 million. Actions are required across the entire value chain, and WRAP’s work shows opportunities to reduce milk waste during processing, transportation, retail and ultimately how we can all cut milk waste in our homes.

WRAP has begun work tackling the biggest trigger for waste in the home, refrigeration.

Milk waste in the home

WRAP’s research shows that more than anything else, keeping milk at the right temperature is essential to stop it spoiling early, and the typical UK fridge at home is operating at 2°C warmer than the recommended Food Standards Agency guideline of between 0-5 degrees. Moreover, many people don’t know what temperature their fridge is running at or have any easy way of knowing how to set it to the right temperature.

Under its Love Food Hate Waste campaign, WRAP is addressing the confusion people have with the variety of fridges settings with a new interactive guide www.chillthefridgeout.com. The resource helps anyone check that the temperature setting is correct for 24 of the county’s most popular fridges.

WRAP estimates reducing the temperature of our fridges to below 5°C could stop more than 50,000 tonnes of milk waste every year, saving shoppers £25 million.

Another way to tackle the confusion around fridge temperatures could be the use of temperature sensitive labels on milk. These use thermochromic inks, which change colour above or below a certain temperature threshold (e.g. 5°C), and could therefore display messages indicating that the fridge (and milk) is too warm. As milk is a universal product in most people’s fridges, they could be a conduit to help improve awareness at a significant scale – with food waste prevention benefits across many other products.

In terms of existing labelling, WRAP’s best practice guidance for the choice and application of date labels and storage guidance, produced with Defra and the Food Standards Agency last year, champions the use of the Little Blue Fridge icon with supporting messaging to ‘keep in the fridge below 5°C’ on the front of all milk bottles. The label and icon reflect the need for clearer storage instructions and WRAP is calling for the Little Blue Fridge to be more widely used on milk packaging.

Another way to reduce milk waste at home is increased freezing, and WRAP is working with the dairy sector to assess how increased freezing could assist in reducing milk waste at home.

Only a quarter of the population (26%) freeze milk compared with half who freeze meat (51%), and the number who freeze fish and seafood (37%) and bread (35%). WRAP estimates that increasing freezing levels for milk to match those of fish and bread could cut more than 10,000 tonnes of waste, saving £5 million. However, there are a number of quality and handing issues associated with freezing that have also been reported, such as the potential for bottles to split or leak. The dairy sector is working to make sure that it’s clear which milk products can be frozen, and that more packs can withstand freezing’

WRAP also looked at the benefits that longer shelf lives could bring, and its research shows that increasing the average ‘Use By’ life available to consumers by just one day could reduce waste by more than 20,000 tonnes, or £10 million.

Industry continues to take positive steps to increase milk shelf life, including processing innovations, site hygiene best practices, and reducing time in the supply chain. Smart labelling innovations that can adjust shelf life based on the condition of the milk might also offer a future opportunity to increase the life on-pack.

WRAP also reiterates a series of recommendations made to white goods manufacturers, to ensure products like milk have optimum storage conditions. These include;

• Increase the number of new fridges that have an integral thermometer. Ideally with the temperature indicator visible even when the door is closed.
• Where fridges contain dials, industry should develop a standard for whether turning the dial up or down reduces or raises the temperature or make it clearer for any given fridge which direction produces a cooler or warmer temperature.
• Reinforce the importance of keeping the fridge at the right temperature with tips on using a thermometer and regular temperature checks. And present this graphically within the fridge or manufacturer’s handbook.
• Include illustrations within the fridge, or manufacturer’s handbook, that clearly show where the coldest part of the fridge is, together with guidance on which temperature sensitive foods should be stored where.
• Include point of sale material to highlight the importance of good temperature control, fridge humidity and using a fridge thermometer.

Milk wastes in the supply chain

Turning attention further along the supply chain, the most significant waste identified during milk processing arises from the process of separating cream from milk, which produces a material known as ‘separator desludge’. This is usually sent straight to drain, but WRAP believes this is a potentially rich resource with high nutrient value proteins. Further processing into materials suitable for food, or animal feed applications could reduce waste by an estimated 10,000 tonnes and cut disposal costs by around £1 million a year.

WRAP also identifies practical interventions to avoid milk waste in depots and retail stores, which could save industry an estimated £1.5 million. For example, reviewing bottle design and specifications to avoid breakages and leaks which are the major causes of waste at this stage of the product journey.

WRAP will work with the sector through the Courtauld 2025 Dairy Working Group to help ensure the recommendations are implemented and plans to track improvements and innovations to pack design and labelling over time through its Retail Survey. Progress will also be reported as part of a new target within The Dairy Roadmap - to increase product and packaging design features that help prevent consumer food waste.

Funding has been made available to help encourage Scottish businesses aiming to cut food waste.

Up to £1 million in support has been offered as part of a bid to cut waste in Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland called for expressions of interest from small and medium-sized businesses at the close of a circular economy hotspot event in Glasgow this week. The organisation is working to help the Scottish Government achieve its target of reducing food waste by 33% by 2025. The funding is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Scottish Government. 

Cutting down on food waste isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business, too. Estimates suggest the amount of food which could have been eaten but instead is thrown away by food service outlets is equivalent to one in six meals. Grants of up to £1 million are available for projects that will drive forward innovative, transformational, cost-effective and collaborative approaches to keeping food-based products in high value use, or to reducing waste in the food supply chain.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “Cutting down on food waste isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business, too. The Circular Economy Hotspot has showcased some of Scotland’s best circular economy businesses to a global audience and we know there is huge economic potential for businesses with ideas to reduce food waste. We hope that by highlighting this funding we will encourage more SMEs to come forward with innovative ideas to cut waste and create new business opportunities. When it comes to food waste, there is no trade-off between doing the right thing for the climate and doing the right thing for your business.”

Proposals will be accepted from:

  • Small and medium sized businesses with projects enabling transformational change in the food supply chain by implementing circular economy solutions and business models to reduce waste.
  • Funding may be awarded to projects led by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and supported by Scotland's academic talent; or to SMEs alone or as a group to progress innovative projects themselves.
  • The funding is aimed at projects at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4, in other words, to take projects to commercialisation stage.

They are seeking projects which: 

  • Are innovative and transformational;
  • Are pilot examples, replicable across the industry;
  • Deliver on carbon reduction, job creation and leveraged investment.

To help illustrate the scope of projects sought some example scenarios include:

  • Software solutions designed to improve supply chain and reduce waste;
  • Innovative packaging which will extend product shelf life and reduce food and drink waste;
  • Collaborative production and supply chain models which address specific food waste issues;
  • Design of novel processes to extend shelf life and reduce waste;
  • Business innovation which creates value from by-product or what would have been waste product;
  • Equipment or machinery that will reduce food waste during; processing, production or transportation;
  • Development of packaging solutions which may be applicable to other sectors.

How to apply:

Please complete the expression of interest form which can be accessed here by the deadline of 31 January 2019. If successful you will be asked to complete an outline project proposal form and thereafter you may be invited to submit a full application.

Eligible organisations:

Should the project have the potential to assist in the creation of a circular economy or improve resource efficiency, it would be eligible for funding support via the £73m Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, administered by Zero Waste Scotland.  Eligible organisations are small and medium enterprises according to the European Commission definition of fewer than 250 employees and with a turnover below € 50m (further information).

  • 56% of UK adults eat vegetarian/meat-free foods.
  • UK meat-free market reaches estimated £740 million in 2018.
  • 34% of Brits have limited/reduced meat eating in the first half of 2018.

As November kicks off World Vegan Month, latest research from Mintel reveals a surge in vegan claims in the UK meat-free foods market. According to Mintel research, the share of meat-free new products carrying a vegan/no animal ingredients claim nearly doubled between 2014-17.

This growing profile of vegan foods is reflected by the fact that in 2017, more than half (52%) of new product launches in the meat-free foods market were vegan/contained no animal ingredients up from 28% in 2014, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD). The significant growth in the availability of vegan products in the meat-free foods market will appeal to the 26% of consumers who prefer meat-free products to be plant-based rather than containing eggs or dairy. Mintel’s latest research also highlights that the popularity of meat-free foods extends well beyond the small pool of non-meat eaters that describe themselves as vegan.

Keen to get a slice of the meat-free action, as many as 56% of UK adults have eaten vegetarian/meat-free foods in the six months to July 2018, a significant increase from the 50% who had eaten these foods in the six months to March 2017. Estimated to reach £740 million in 2018, sales of meat-free foods (including a growing range of vegan products) have shot up 22% between 2013-18. Growth is set to continue as value sales of the meat-free market are forecast to increase by a further 44% by 2023 to reach £1.1 billion.

Alyson Parkes, Research Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Although the meat-free market is not vegan by definition, there has been a significant increase in the number of new products that carry a vegan claim. The buzz surrounding ‘Veganuary’ gained momentum in January 2018, with a raft of vegan products launching to capitalise on the month-long meat-free movement. Vegan claims in the market span own-label products, as well as branded ones, signalling that supermarkets are also keen to capitalise on this interest. The appeal of meat-free products also extends far beyond the still very limited pool of vegan consumers. The rising profile of meat-free products and plant-based diets has been helped by activity in the foodservice arena and a significant advertising push in 2018, which has increased the visibility and awareness of these products among consumers, as well as injected excitement into the category.”

Brits trim back meat consumption

While 90% of Brits are red meat/poultry eaters, Mintel research highlights consumer interest in limiting/reducing meat consumption remains strong, as 34% of meat eaters reduced their meat consumption in 2018. Younger Brits aged 25-34 are the most likely (40%) to have reduced meat consumption in the last year. A further 21% of meat eaters say that they would be interested in limiting/reducing their meat consumption in the future, highlighting the growing appeal of meat reduction and the opportunity for meat-free foods.

The top three perceived benefits of eating less meat are improving health (32%), saving money (31%), and being better for the environment (25%). Despite improving health being seen as the top benefit, considerably fewer consumers associate eating less meat with helping to manage weight (25%) or reducing the risk of disease (22%).

“The UK’s overarching health trend has underpinned meat reduction behaviours, with consumers increasingly looking for better-for-you food and drink products. However, the benefits associated with eating less meat extend far beyond health, also encompassing animal ethics and the environment. The multi-dimensional appeal of the meat-free trend bodes well for its longevity.” Adds Alyson.

Meat avoiders want their meat-free foods to look like meat

Tasting like meat is the top enticing factor for 26% of non-/infrequent eaters of vegetarian/meat-free foods. There is also some interest in products that replicate meat in other ways, with 15% of this consumers group agreeing that meat-free burgers which ‘bleed’ are appealing; rising to 25% of 16-34-year-olds.

Despite this, Mintel research confirms that there is some confusion and concern surrounding meat-free foods, with 44% of Brist unclear about what ingredients are used in these foods. With two-fifths (41%) of consumers agreeing that meat-free foods with a shorter list of ingredients are more appealing than those with longer ingredient lists, and a further 31% believing that meat-free foods are too processed to be healthier than meat, transparency is key in order to reassure consumers and build trust.

“Several companies have recently launched revolutionary plant-based burgers that mimic the same ‘bleeding’ quality as animal-based meat burgers when cooked. This meat-replicating feature certainly makes the concept of meat-free foods more newsworthy and intriguing for consumers which, combined with health credentials, ethical claims and environmental considerations, creates a compelling proposition. This visual aspect also makes these products highly ‘Instagrammable’, and can help catch the eye of experimental foodies, as well as a wider audience.” Concludes Alyson.

Does your institution have a vegan or plant-based menu or concept? If so, you could feature in the January TUCO Magazine! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more. 

A first of its kind mobile app to help people go vegan is being launched today after research showed half of Brits would consider becoming vegan.

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The Vegan Society has released the free VeGuide app - which is now available on Android and iOS devices - to mark its 74th birthday this World Vegan Day (1 November). The app is an introduction to a vegan lifestyle through a combination of interactive content with shopping, nutrition and recipe information, tailored for a UK audience. It helps users deal with issues such as giving up cheese or struggling to find vegan products by covering the basics of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle over 30 days.

With 95% of people aged 16-34 owning a smartphone in 2018 in the UK, it is hoped the app will appeal to the younger tech-savvy audience.

Danielle Saunders, Digital Content Officer at The Vegan Society, said: “We are so excited to launch an app we developed specifically with the vegan-curious in mind.

“VeGuide was designed to provide a platform that’s more suited to the younger audience, which our research showed are the most likely age group to have an interest in veganism. We feel the development of VeGuide marks a new phase for The Vegan Society and a new way of embracing veganism for the general public.”

The Society’s research found that awareness of what veganism stands for is spreading among the British public, with 22% of respondents knowing more about it now than they ever did growing up. The charity has worked with celebrities, dietitians and vegan experts to bring together all the advice VeGuide users are able to benefit from.

The video content is presented by prominent vegan YouTubers RaeLikesFroot and Jay Brave who act as personal guides, exploring the most common stumbling blocks to going vegan.

Budding vegans will be encouraged to stay on track with facts and motivational quotes, specifically tailored to the reasons why they said wanted to take the plunge. The app, which has UK and US versions, also includes quizzes and a rewards programme for products registered with the Vegan Trademark.

Most vegan pledges are email-based such as those people take as a New Year’s resolution, making VeGuide is the first app of its kind. A Vegan Society survey this year found the number of vegans in Great Britain had quadrupled in the past four years from 150,000 to 600,000. World Vegan Day and Month commemorate the founding of The Vegan Society and celebrate how far the vegan movement has come. 

World Vegan Month is the best time to start your vegan journey. VeGuide is available to download for free on Google Play and the App Store now.

Does your institution have a vegan or plant-based menu or concept? If so, you could feature in the January TUCO Magazine! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more. 

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