Members’ News

November 2017

New team element to enhance Tilda Chef competition #

The Tilda Chef competition returns to Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia 2018, next March (Tuesday 6 March, 12-12.45pm), this time celebrating talented chef pairings.

Ten pairs of chefs will battle it out to become Tilda Chef Team of the Year winners scooping a two-day trip to the Po Valley in Italy, with the chance to experience the Arborio rice harvest and indulge themselves in the rich culture of Italian food.

Craig Dillon, head of foodservice, Tilda UK, says: “We’re always impressed with the level of talent and expertise on display during Salon Culinaire and hope that by adding the team element we will see even more skill and ability.

“Rice is such a versatile ingredient and Tilda Chef Team of the Year is a great opportunity for chefs to get creative and experiment with our speciality variants, which help make dishes more premium meaning chefs can command a higher price tag on menus.”

Run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, this competition is for teams of two chefs, who will be given 45 minutes to prepare, cook and present a main course dish and dessert using Tilda’s speciality rice as the base ingredient in both recipes. Teams can choose between Tilda Basmati & Wild or Fragrant Jasmine for the main course and Arborio for the dessert.

In addition to the fantastic culinary trip to Italy, the winning pair will also receive the Tilda Chef Team of the Year trophy, plus the top three teams will get a glimpse into the stringent standards that are taken to remove any broken grains at Tilda’s rice mill in Rainham. Salon Culinaire medals, commemorative plates and framed certificates will also be awarded.

Teams have until 10 December and can enter Tilda Chef Team of the Year online via the Hotelympia website:

Hereford school crosses the finish line first to claim Tilda Together Competition #

A secondary school in Peterchurch, Hereford won £500, a nutritional talk with cooking demo, plus a sports day hosted by international athlete Jess Coulson courtesy of Tilda.

Fairfield High School scooped the prize after entering the Tilda Together School Sports Day competition – designed to highlight the importance that sports and nutrition play in maintaining healthy bodies and healthy minds.

Entrants were required to explain in 80 words why they would like to host a Tilda Together School Sports Day and judges were impressed with Fairfield High School’s entry because they felt it really captured the essence of the competition. The school places a strong emphasis on studying a curriculum of food and nutrition and encourages cross-curricular links with PE.

Emily Bevan, who teaches food and nutrition at Fairfield High School was responsible for submitting the winning entry and expressed her excitement: “We were absolutely over the moon when we found out we had won, the kids were so excited to have athlete Jess Coulson helping with the sports day. It’s great for the school as we think it’s crucial for kids to be educated about the importance of nutrition and exercise.

“The day itself couldn’t have gone any better, the kids were surprised to learn that rice is a healthy carb so I think Tilda has already recruited some new rice lovers. Everybody enjoyed the sports day with British Half Marathon Champion 2015 and English 10,000m Champion 2015 Jess Coulson, she took them through some running tips as well as warm up and cool down exercises.”

Craig Dillon, head of foodservice at Tilda, was also in attendance and said of the event: “It was great to see the kids getting so much out of the day. Our nutritionist, Dr Sarah Schenker, gave an informal talk on ‘Understanding the Glycaemic Index’, alongside a fun cooking session using Tilda Brown & White Rice to showcase just how easy it can be to bring taste and nutrition together in dishes that offer genuine goodness.

“There was a real synergy between the Tilda Together competition and what Fairfield High School is achieving in terms of educating its students about the importance of healthy eating while also increasing activity levels. It was a pleasure to award them with a Tilda Together School Sports Day.”
Fairfield High School also received 25kg of Tilda Brown & White Rice and the school caterer is already planning nutritious dishes to create.

Schools can download a free Tilda Together recipe book packed full of ideas for tasty dishes as well as handy hints and tips to help caterers cook perfect rice every time while tackling portion control and reducing wastage by going to the Tilda Foodservice website: 

Chipotle and Honest Burgers working with HGEM to improve guest experience #

Casual dining restaurants Chipotle and Honest Burgers are the latest brands to enlist the help of guest experience management experts HGEM.

Honest Burgers, the fast-growing casual dining chain, opened their first site outside London in Cambridge in April 2017. HGEM have supported the 23-site operator throughout their recent expansion, completing high-frequency Mystery Visits across brunch, lunch and dinner sittings. The result is valuable, actionable feedback on the guest experience during the first key weeks of new site openings. HGEM are also assessing the guest experience at restaurant closing times, completing late-night Mystery Visits across all 23 sites. Victoria Oickle, operations manager, said: "I love working with HGEM because they are really accommodating to anything that we want to arrange. Feedback is reacted upon quickly and it feels like an extension of the business, rather than outsourcing. The monthly reports save me about 2 hours where I would normally be doing the analysis – they do it for me!"

HGEM also work with US chain Chipotle Mexican Grill to measure and improve the guest experience across their 12 sites in London and Paris, completing Mystery Visits and providing bespoke analysis of guest feedback. HGEM also built Chipotle’s fully branded online feedback site Marketing strategist James Dannatt said: "HGEM feel like an extension of the Chipotle family. They have dedicated time and energy to understand both our business objectives and people culture. The customised reporting makes it simple and efficient to quickly analyse and address feedback. The account management team are always available and ready to help. We’re excited to see what the future holds for this partnership and our guest experience has already benefited from working with these great industry professionals."

Steven Pike, managing director at HGEM, commented: "We’re delighted to be playing our part in supporting the growth and success of these two innovative brands. They demonstrate that, whilst there may be differences in their approach to learning about guest experiences, the important thing is nurturing a culture to reflect, understand and take positive actions on the results."

Délifrance UK launches À la Folie! brand at Michelin Guide Launch 2018 #

Délifrance UK launched À la Folie!; a premium brand that will sit alongside current Délifrance premium brands, ‘Délifrance Héritage’ and ‘Panitaly’. À la Folie!, designed by chefs for chefs, is split into two collections, or ‘acts’. Act one features ready to fill crunchy pastry shells, including tartlet bases, cones and baskets. Act two features thaw and serve petits fours and macarons. All products are perfect for fine dining settings, entertaining and receptions.
The À la Folie! brand officially launched in the UK at the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2018 launch event on 2 October 2017, where some of the world’s finest chefs were served impeccable canapés in À la Folie! tartlet bases.
Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director, Délifrance UK said: “At Délifrance, we know inspired bakery, and our premium À la Folie! brand is designed to bring sparkle and colour to any party. Made with premium ingredients, and hand-crafted by chefs, À la Folie! allows every chef to create more than food; they can create art. From ready to fill tartlet bases to an assortment of colourful macarons, the range is perfect for any high-end reception.”
Act one: ready to fill – tartlet bases, cones and baskets
The ready to fill collection is split into two ranges; tartlet bases and cones and baskets.
The tartlet bases are the perfect foundation for culinary creativity, and come in a range of sizes, shapes and flavours, from the 38mm savoury round base to the 100mm chocolate round base.
The cones and baskets also come in a range of flavours, including both chocolate and vanilla, with each crispy wafer cone and basket weighing 4g.
Act two: thaw and serve – fruit and chocolate petits fours and macarons
The thaw and serve collection features four product ranges: fruit petit fours, chocolate petit fours, macarons and mignardises. Each range incorporates various shapes, textures and flavours.
The petits fours are available in both fruit and chocolate ranges. Each features seven unique products, with flavours including apple & cinnamon, raspberry & coconut, dark chocolate & pear and chestnut & white chocolate.
The macarons, that come in two sizes, 6g or 15g, and seven flavours, have a crème mousseline centre surrounded by eye-catching, colourful meringue.

Disruptive technologies, foodservice trends… and Michael Portillo #

CESA unveils provocative programme for 2017 Conference
2017 CESA Conference, in association with Cedabond, ENSE and the FCSI
Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November, De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel, Reading
CESA’s speaker platform for the 2017 Conference is designed to inform and stimulate.  The Conference theme is Moving Forward in a Changing World and a highlight of the day will be Robin Clark, restaurant services director of Just Eat, who will talk about delivering change. 
Other speakers include Simon Stenning, executive director of MCA Insight, who will focus on restaurant trends, while Jeremy White of Wired magazine looks at how the latest design, material and technological innovations will impact on the foodservice industry.  Digital technology guru Gary Meehan will deliver a presentation on disruptive technologies and the connected kitchen. 
Conference chair is economist, broadcaster and writer Steph McGovern.  Her close contact with business people, civil servants and politicians gives her an inside track on the latest on the economy and Brexit – insights which she will be sharing throughout the day. 
The programme will be brought to a rousing finale by Michael Portillo.  Widely regarded as the greatest leader the Conservative party never had, he was Chief Treasury Secretary, then led both Employment and Defence – before being rejected by the voters of Enfield and Southgate.  He’s now an accomplished broadcaster.  If anyone understands coming to terms with a changing world, it’s him!
Networking is always an important part of the CESA Conference.  For 2017 delegates can participate in a golf or activity day on the Wednesday, followed by an informal dinner.  After the Conference and CESA AGM on Thursday there is the annual Gala Dinner, with the presentation of the FCSI Sustainable Equipment Award and the industry’s Outstanding Achievement Award. 
The Conference is open to all in the foodservice industry, both operators and those working in the supply chain. Non CESA members are welcome.  Numbers are limited, to book space visit, email or call 020 7793 3030.

CESA Conference: bonus session on the Smart Kitchen #

Friday breakfast panel to consider kitchen connectivity

2017 CESA Conference, in association with Cedabond, ENSE and the FCSI
Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November, De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel, Reading
 This year’s CESA Conference, in association with Cedabond, ENSE and the FCSI, is on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November.  Now CESA has announced that there will be a bonus session for delegates on Friday, with a breakfast discussion panel on the Smart Kitchen. 
The panel will be led by Gary Meehan who, for almost 30 years, has worked with food equipment brands as a digital strategy, software development and marketing consultant.  His focus has been to help them make better use of digital systems, applications and technology, to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. As a strong advocate for the benefits associated with ‘smart connected kitchens' he has spent the last four years leading the development of a common information, asset and lifecycle management ecosystem for the foodservice industry. 
The breakfast session will consider if the future of the Smart Kitchen really depends on increased collaboration and an open standard.  “What happens if the trend continues down the path of ‘stand alone’ applications and systems?” Gary asks.  “We will look at what that means for the future of the Smart Kitchen.”  
The session is open to all CESA members and conference delegates and will be held over breakfast at the De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel.  Attendees will be invited to ask questions and contribute to the debate.  “We want to start an open dialogue to identify and discuss the obstacles and the opportunities that the Smart Kitchen will bring,” says Gary. 
The Smart Kitchen session will be free to attend for Conference delegates – register to attend by emailing
The Conference is open to all in the foodservice industry, both operators and those working in the supply chain. Non CESA members are welcome.  Numbers are limited, to book space visit, email or call 020 7793 3030.

The Connected Kitchen: CESA to shine spotlight on implications and potential #

The connected kitchen is developing a huge buzz in the industry. At the recent CESA CEDA Technical Conference (October 11, The Nottingham Belfry) the issue raised excited discussion about its potential to increase operator efficiency and drive down costs.
The CESA Conference 2017 puts the connected kitchen under the spotlight. As well as considering the technological possibilities, the conference will look at its impact on the supply chain. Specifically, it will cover the implications of the connected kitchen in terms of how suppliers receive, interpret and collate data – and how that will push the development of the supply chain into a value chain. 
In addition, delegates can attend a special business breakfast that looks at the opportunities presented by the connected kitchen, and the strategies companies need to implement to keep abreast of developments.
A key issue is standardisation. A solution is being sought by the International Foodservice Equipment Connectivity Group. This is run by EFCEM’s (The European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers) technical committee, which CESA chairs. Members of the group will be on hand to discuss its latest findings. 
As CESA chair Glenn Roberts said at the Technical conference, “We are on the crest of a digital wave. Connectivity is one of the ‘big issues’ for the industry and CESA will continue to support businesses and give leadership on this topic.” 
This year’s CESA Conference, in association with Cedabond, ENSE and the FCSI, is on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November, at the De Vere Wokefield Estate Hotel, Reading. The business breakfast takes place at the hotel on Friday 17 November. The Conference is open to all in the foodservice industry, both operators and those working in the supply chain. Non CESA members are welcome. Numbers are limited, to book space visit, email or call 020 7793 3030

Hotelympia: CESA initiatives promote business at the show #

Branding for catering equipment section and new app will help visitors and suppliers
Hotelympia 2018 sees two initiatives developed by CESA to help foodservice operators and equipment suppliers make the most of the show’s potential. 
The equipment area at Hotelympia will have its own area – The Professional Kitchen Show – which CESA has helped the show organisers, Montgomery, to develop. “The branding better reflects the dynamism and innovation of the equipment sector,” says John Whitehouse, who is both vice chair of CESA and chair of the association’s exhibition liaison committee. “Building our sector’s profile will ensure that equipment is at the forefront of visitors’ minds as they come to the show.”
Over 70 CESA members are already signed up to take part in Hotelympia 2018. “It’s a show that continues to deliver in terms of numbers and ROI,” says John. “That’s why CESA and Montgomery have such a close relationship. Plus, our members benefit from a show rebate, as well as the activities CESA promotes before, during and after the event.” 
The second initiative is an app that is currently in development and will be launched before the show.  Its purpose is to make it easier for visitors to make the most of their time at Hotelympia, for example by highlighting relevant stands or suppliers. John says, “The app will help visitors focus on what they are interested in – which can only help the equipment companies they are looking to talk to.” 
The app will be available to download from the CESA website.  

Nigel Crane accepts British Culinary Federation Chairman’s Award #

Essential Cuisine’s managing director and chef founder, Nigel Crane, has been given the prestigious Chairman’s Award by the British Culinary Federation (BCF).
Nigel accepted the gong in person at the BCF Awards dinner, held at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. BCF Chairman Matt Davies handed over the award and paid tribute to the chef and the impact he has had both on the industry and on those working within it. 
He said: “From humble beginnings at catering college via the Berkeley, Britannia, Waldorf, and Westbury, to hitting the high standards of the Dorchester, right through to his standing today at the helm of Essential Cuisine, this award is testament to one hell of a career!
“Nigel has always held the BCF close to his heart, and his tireless work to develop the careers of young chefs, not just here but in the wider industry, is worthy of celebration. Congratulations, chef. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do.”
Based in north-west England, Essential Cuisine is a proud British supplier of high quality stocks, jus, gravies, demi-glaces, glaces and RTU sauces. 

North West Young Chef winners dominate national finals to deliver best-ever 1, 2, 3 finish #

The North West Young Chef of the Year competition received an extraordinary boost with its 2014, 2015 and 2017 winners finishing a respective first, second and third in the National Championships, held at London’s Restaurant Show.
2014 North West Young Chef winner, Danny Young, a chef at Nigel Haworth’s reputed Northcote Manor, defied a temporary power outage to capture the outright title in the final, beating his previous best of second place in 2015. 
Arthur Bridgeman Quin from the Punchbowl Inn and Restaurant at Crosthwaite, recorded a best-ever second place in the national finals having captured the North West Young Chef title in 2015, while current holder, l’Enclume’s Thomas Reeves cooked his way to overall third in the 10-strong field.
Bolstering the result further was the news that 2016 North West Young Chef winner, Daniela Tucci, from Liverpool’s The Art School Restaurant, was awarded the Exceptional Presentation Award by way of a public Twitter vote for her main course: Cannon of Highland Red Deer with autumn squash, pak choi in soy, damson puree, pickled girroles and beetroot.
Each of the young chefs was given two hours to create a starter which included Norwegian haddock, a main course with an Asian influence, and a sponge-based dessert.
Danny’s winning menu consisted of a Norwegian Haddock, Salt & Vinegar Black Peas, Potato Crisps and Dashi “Caviar” starter; a main of Rare Breed Miso Beef, Oriental Mushrooms, Crispy Kale and Coriander and a dessert of Warm Apple Syrup Sponge with Horlick’s Ice Cream. 
Chairman of judges, Brian Mellor said: “Today is a fantastic result for all of the North West Young Chef competitors and I’m thrilled to see all four of these young chefs taking something away from today. We have had first-hand experience of the skill that these chefs possess, so know that this result is no fluke – indeed, with the levels of talent we have seen over the past few years, this outcome has been on the cards for some time.”
Nigel Crane, managing director for Essential Cuisine, added: “We couldn’t be prouder of this sensational result – a victory not just for these dedicated young individuals but for the North West Young Chef Competition itself. Never in our wildest dreams could we have envisaged the 1, 2, 3, but now it’s here we will savour it and raise a toast to Danny, Arthur, Thomas, Daniela and the hardworking chef mentors driving each one on. Congratulations, chefs!”      

Essential Cuisine works with award-winning kitchen to highlight importance of good food in healthcare #

Essential Cuisine has been working with the chefs at award-winning charity St Andrew’s Healthcare to promote the benefits of diet and nutrition in caring for those with mental health issues.  
As part of its #Cheflife video series, which takes a fly-on-the-wall look at chefs and their brigades in different sectors, Essential Cuisine is focusing on the work of Gareth Waters, Head of Restaurants & Catering, and his dedicated team at the state-of-the-art specialist mental care facility in Northampton.
With a background in the restaurant and hotel industry, Gareth, alongside his team, has been successful in turning the output of the kitchens from a cook-chill service of ready meals, to a fully fresh ‘from scratch’ catering operation. The end result has seen a jump in patient satisfaction from 50% to 85% and given St Andrew’s clinical teams the peace of mind that they can to concentrate on the business of care safe in the knowledge that poor nutrition will never be an issue. In 2016 the efforts of the charity were rewarded as it scooped Healthcare Caterer of the Year during the Foodservice Cateys.
Gareth said: “One of the biggest challenges we face in the mental healthcare sector is that patients often come to us having experienced generally poor diets in the past, so they’re used to unhealthy or fast food. It’s about trying to wean people off food like that and encouraging them to eat a healthy, balanced diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables – food is so important to care, and our patients deserve the best.” 
St Andrew’s has been working with Essential Cuisine on its drive for excellence in food. The Stock People’s chef team has been supporting Gareth and his team for the past two years on advising the right stock products to help him keep menus nutritionally sound.
Gareth continues: “Originally, one of the main reasons we switched to Essential Cuisine was because their products had a much lower salt content than the previous brand that we were using, and part of our mission was to lower the salt that we put into food. The consistency of their stock is brilliant – because it’s a powder you can use the scoop and you know that you’re getting exactly the right quantities into your recipes. That also gives you better cost control alongside the obvious health benefits.”
He adds: “It’s so important to try and keep our patients interested in the food they eat, many of them have restricted access so their days are often focused around mealtimes, meaning it’s a very important part of the day to them. Most people are pretty passionate about food and so we really try to accommodate everyone as much as we can – the support we get from Essential Cuisine in achieving this is fantastic.”
To watch the full #Cheflife St Andrew’s Healthcare video visit:

When it comes to gravy, 84% of chefs say it ‘Has to be British’ #

UK kitchens may be multi-national affairs – a celebration of difference – yet when it comes to a much-loved staple, 84% of chefs say that the gravy they use has to be made right here in Britain.   
The findings come from Essential Cuisine and follow extensive independent chef and consumer testing, undertaken this August, of its British-made No.1 Gravy range.
The results were conclusive: Essential Cuisine’s three-strong gravy range came out on top against all competitor products in blind taste tests with 100 consumers and 50 chefs sourced independently from across hospitality. Upon questioning the chefs further, the findings were yet again categorical – when it comes to gravy, British made is definitely best.  
The results also found that, when it comes to chefs, peer to peer recommendation is key, with 60% wanting a gravy that has been recommended by other chefs. Consumers are no less particular with findings uncovering that 70% would be put off from returning somewhere that served them sub-standard gravy.
The comprehensive verdict, says Essential Cuisine managing director, Nigel Crane, lays bare the importance of getting it right.
“In the heat of kitchen life, it makes sense for brigades to save valuable time by using a bought-in gravy but it’s absolutely essential to not sacrifice quality and consistency for convenience and corner-cutting. Gravy is such a simple consideration but get it wrong and the results are conclusive, your customers will vote with their feet. 

“Britain’s love affair with good gravy is well-documented but, the findings show that the link between chefs and British-made gravy is also strong. It stands to reason that those who take extra care in sourcing British meat and vegetables would give the same attention to as many of their ingredients as possible. Gravy is absolutely no different.”
Supplied powdered in 1.5kg tubs Essential Cuisine’s No.1 range, Beef, Chicken and vegetarian Savoury are gluten-free, with no declarable allergens^. Made in the Britain, they also meet DoH 2017 salt targets and make an average 20 litres of gravy per pot – one of the industry’s highest yields.  
The comprehensive tests, held in August 2017, were undertaken by highly respected independent market research company, Good Sense Research with each gravy rated on the 9-point hedonic scale for sensory evaluation, against the key criteria of: appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, aftertaste and overall enjoyment. 

New deal brings growth opportunities for Scottish dairy and egg producers #

Scottish dairy and egg producers expect to see business grow as Bidfood Scotland launches a full range into the UK foodservice industry.
Bidfood Scotland has taken on a raft of new listings from suppliers including First Milk (the only Scottish dairy producer to be 100% owned by farmers), Inverloch Cheese Company, Yester Farm Dairies, as well as award winning free-range egg farm, Scotlay Eggs.
The development of Bidfood’s new dairy and egg range is part of the company’s support of Scotland Food and Drinks’ new Ambition 2030. The initiative works in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Dairy Hub to double turnover in the Scotland food and drink sector to reach £30 billion by 2030.
The initiative is also helping Bidfood’s 5,000 Scottish customers source more everyday products from local suppliers.
As a result of the deal, Scotlay Eggs has already seen a 900% increase in volume in just six months and it is now investing in more birds and a new poultry shed to accommodate the growth. In addition to this, Campbeltown’s Mature Colour Grated Cheddar and Yester Farm’s Mozzarella has moved from a regional to a national listing.
Bidfood Scotland’s business development manager, Katie Sillars, says the business is proud to partner with local suppliers and offer opportunities to grow: 
“Our strategy is about finding the right balance between quality and value for money. Our aim is to work in partnership with our suppliers and help them to drive growth of the dairy and egg categories regionally in Scotland, as well as across the whole of our UK business.”
“We’re pleased to grow our business further by working with Bidfood,” says Paul Stewart, Marketing Manager at First Milk. “Every increase we have in volume helps to improve the price per litre for our farmers, and this then creates a more sustainable milk price.”

All-day dining is the future for foodservice …Yet 50% of diners are unclear about the all-day concept #

A new White Paper from Bidfood in conjunction with CGA Strategy has revealed that all-day dining holds the key to business growth for foodservice operators, with 1 in 3 Brits having eaten out at breakfast, mid-morning or mid-afternoon in the past 6 months, and 35% eating out at breakfast more frequently than they did two years ago.
However, despite this, the research revealed there is confusion over the definition of all-day dining, with just 50% of diners saying they are familiar with the phrase.
The White Paper – which was conducted during the first half of 2017 and includes in-depth interviews with leading industry figures, online quantitative surveys of over 10,000 consumers, focus groups, and surveys of business leaders within the industry – delves into the rise of casual and all-day dining, two of the biggest trends shaping the foodservice industry today. It explores how the two trends overlap, why consumer expectations are evolving, and what the key is to success as a casual or all-day dining operator.
Key findings include:
- Millennials hold the key: 3 in 5 customers who visit the ‘new wave’ of ‘fast casual’ brands are millennials
- Casual is king: 4 in 5 operators class their business as ‘all day dining’ or ‘casual dining’
- The big growth opportunity: 42% of business leaders expect to open over 10 sites in 2017

Lucy Pedrick, insights manager at Bidfood says, “The consumer mega trends of convenience, quality and availability have given rise to two of the most talked about, yet not fully understood, terms in the industry; casual and all-day dining. Both exemplify how the market is not standing still, and how understanding of consumer habit is vital in succeeding in the market.
“Our White Paper tackles these concepts head on, to provide operators with a comprehensive insight into the evolution of all-day dining, a better understanding of consumer behaviours, and advice on how to make all-dining work. Be it location based research, menu optimisation, or turning low tempo into high spend, the White Paper is intended to shed light on two of the biggest trends driving our industry today.”
The White Paper is available now at

Industry joins forces to make a sustainable change #

Following the success of last year, plate2planet Live! returned with figure heads from across the foodservice sector coming together to debate the most pressing sustainability issues currently facing the industry.

The sustainability summit, powered by Bidfood, took place on Thursday 2 November. It aims to bring to life, the collaborative sustainability focussed website for discussion, ideas and best practice.

Hosted by Steve Malkin, CEO of The Planet Mark, the event was held at one of the world’s most sustainable venues, The Crystal in London. Speakers and panellists included Michael Jones, business account manager at WRAP, Wendy Duncan, R&D deploy manager food solutions UK/IRE at Unilever, Andrew Stephen, CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and Polly Hofmann, commercial officer at FareShare.

The theme of the day was responsible production and consumption with each attendee asked to pledge their support to change during the event. Collaboration was front of mind with the audience and speakers alike looking at three important areas of the foodservice industry; sustainable menus, food poverty and waste.

Shirley Duncalf, head of sustainable development, Bidfood said: “Our second ever plate2planet Live! event was a tremendous success and a testament to how far the industry has come in the last year.

“However, there is still so much more we can do as an industry, with events like this definitely pointing us in the right direction and driving forward momentum to change for the better.

“Last Thursday’s summit is merely the start of great things to come and I’m excited to see even more progress next year.”

To read through the issues raised at the summit search the hashtag #p2pLive2017 on Twitter. Videos of the panel debates from the summit can also be re-watched on the Bidfood Facebook page:

Lusso launches new juice and coffee concept at Royal College of Art, Kensington #

Lusso, part of CH&Co Group, launched a new juice and coffee bar at the Royal College of Art, Kensington.

The Juice D Bar is the first phase of planned redevelopment to introduce a food court concept to the college.  The new approach will create three defined outlets catering for different food and beverage choices throughout the day – drinks and snacks, grab-and-go meals and refectory dining.
Serving freshly-blended, made-to-order fruit and vegetable smoothies, shots and juices and Barista-brewed coffee, Juice D Bar offers a distinct destination to enjoy a variety of exciting, high-quality beverages. 

Lusso is also supporting its client partner in providing healthier choices for the staff and students. The juices, smoothies and shots can help meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, containing up to two portions per serving, and the tasty snacks available include CH&Co Group’s ‘Healthiest Cakes Ever’. Ranging from 140-280 calories per item, the homemade cakes and bakes have been developed to contain less saturated fat and refined sugar, more fruit and vegetables and plenty of flavour. Gluten-, dairy- and egg-free options are also available.

The eye-catching Juice D Bar officially opened for the new academic year. Lusso’s suppliers, including Mudwalls Farm and Chiquita Bananas, showcased their fresh, seasonal produce and provided information on the potential health benefits of their fruits and vegetables. CH&Co Group’s consultant nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, also headlined a Wellbeing Day and highlighted the value of a balanced diet and healthier lifestyle choices.

Sharon Linney, operations director for Lusso, said: “The official launch of Juice D Bar was a vibrant, energetic affair and it was great to collaborate with our suppliers to bring the concept to life. The staff and students loved the transformation of the outlet into a fresh and inviting space, and the juices, coffee and snacks went down a treat.

“As a trusted partner of the Royal College of Art, we want to ensure that our catering offer is the first choice over the high street.  This is a key motivation behind the new food court approach, which offers quality food and beverages at distinct dining destinations. We’re looking forward to progressing to the next phase.”

Harbour & Jones celebrates excellence within #

Harbour & Jones has celebrated and rewarded the success of its outstanding team members at its annual awards ceremony and party.
The revelry took place at the HAC, home to the Honourable Artillery Company, and in keeping with the time of year, the theme was Oktoberfest.
As a company that counts service as one of its core values, Service Obsession was fittingly the most hotly-contested award that produced three worthy winners. The other closely-fought categories, judged by an esteemed panel of past winners and team leaders, were Team of the Year, Leadership, Chef of the Year and Innovation.
The 2017 Harbour & Jones Award winners are:
Service Obsession Award
- Ajicja Kalamarz – CXR support office
- Georgiana Pavel – Dartmouth House
- Aneata Kuchinska – Support team

Chef of the Year
- Pawel Taras – The IET: Savoy Place

Innovation Award
- Hanke Fischer – RADA bar and refectory

Team of the Year
- Financial Times

Leadership Award
- Theresa Barry-Lane from Ashurst

Nathan Jones, managing partner of Harbour & Jones, said: “What a night!  The standard of achievement of the award winners was phenomenal and we congratulate them all.  They exemplify the dedication, passion and talent that is prevalent within our teams.  The judges had a really tough job deciding the final winners from a fantastic mix of entries, but we got there in the end and from the positive reactions in the room we made the right choices.
“It’s really important to bring all our people together under one roof for a night of celebration and recognition of the hard work they deliver day in, day out.  The strength of our business is down to our people and we must acknowledge that. Not everyone can win an award but our annual event gives us the opportunity to say thank you and for everyone to let their hair down with their colleagues. We certainly achieved that goal!”
For the special event, the Prince Consort rooms were transformed into a Munich bierkeller and the 400-strong team enjoyed beer, pretzels and German-style food, served by lederhosen and dirndl-clad waiting staff, whilst listening to traditional German music from The Oompah Band. 

H+J gives clients a taste of the future #

Kidulthood, texture, the evolution of water and back to nature were the standout food trends projected by Food Futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gaye, and tasted by guests at H+J’s Trend Talk client event.

The Trend Talk, held at the IET London: Savoy Place, was the second instalment of the caterer’s series of events designed to highlight and explore future food trends.

Dr Gaye’s presentation gave guests an insight into the current and upcoming trends shaping what we eat.  These are driven by a number of factors, including socio-cultural, such as the increasing number of adults living in the parental home, and a continual desire to push the boundaries and seek new excitement in the most basic of needs – sustenance.

H+J excited guests’ palates with an innovative menu that reflected the latest food trends, as well as some predicted ones.  An aroma station demonstrated the interconnection of taste and smell and how one can affect the other, featuring pairings such as oysters with passionfruit scent and blue cheese mousse with pineapple aroma. 

Renowned forager Miles Irving’s table of native edible plants highlighted the back to nature trend, and the baked alsaka bar tapped into the kidulthood trend with guests personalising their pudding pops with chocolate pearls, hundreds and thousands and sweet sauces.

Dr Morgaine Gaye said: “I was delighted to be able to take part in this exciting event and share my findings on the future of food. Food is a complex topic and involves society, behaviour, geo-politics, culture, beliefs, history, trends, fads, art, marketing, sensorial perceptions, biology and, well, almost everything.  I don’t look into crystal balls, but I do give people a well-researched glimpse of what we can expect in the coming years, what’s driving change and how we can perhaps plan ahead.”

Patrick Harbour, managing partner of Harbour & Jones, which owns H+J, adds: “H+J is all about being adventurous and original so it’s great to be able to showcase our innovative work and give people an insight into the future of food through our Trend Talk. There’s always a need for new and exciting concepts and we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of creativity, pushing the boundaries to create food that tastes delicious and will be sustainable in the future. Dr Gaye’s presentation gave us plenty to think about.

“Following the success of our first Trend Talk, which looked at how technology is transforming the retail experience, it’s great that so many people joined us for this second fascinating instalment. Feedback tells us that our clients and guests find the events valuable and we look forward to continuing the series with another thought-provoking talk in the near future.”

CH&Co Group joins forces with Mark Sargeant #

CH&Co Group has announced an exciting new partnership with well-known chef and restaurateur, Mark Sargeant.

The collaboration upholds the contract caterer’s commitment to ongoing food innovation and the development and motivation of its chefs and teams.

Mark will support CH&Co Group across its portfolio of businesses, which operate in the business & industry, heritage, leisure, education and healthcare sectors.  Key areas and initiatives that he will lend his expertise and industry knowledge to include: menu development; chef training in the CH&Co Group Chef Academy; culinary communications; team engagement and motivation through internal communication and events. 

As a champion of nurturing talent, Mark will also be offering CH&Co Group chefs the opportunity to complete stages at his various establishments, including his flagship Folkestone restaurant, Rocksalt.

Bill Toner, CH&Co Group’s chief executive, said: “We’re very excited about our partnership with Mark. Food is what we’re all about and we’re always looking for ways to mix things up and do great food a little differently.  Mark is undeniably an incredibly talented chef who is enjoying a remarkable career.
His experience, vision and style is a fantastic fit for the business. He will work well with our chefs at all levels, inspiring them to innovate and build on the excellent food they are already serving to our clients, and also to develop their careers. The great thing is that everyone wins from this partnership, from our chefs and teams through to our clients.”

Mark Sargeant added: “I’m really looking forward to working with CH&Co Group. It’s a dynamic and growing business, which makes it a very interesting prospect.  The thing that excites me most is how many different businesses there are in the group, all with their own challenges. I’ve always been a fan of diversity and this will make for lots of interesting work and keep me on my toes. Developing talent is something I’m passionate about, but I’m sure it won’t be a one-way street and that I’ll learn plenty from the teams too.” 

BaxterStorey announces 2017 Heritage Chef Award winners #

BaxterStorey has announced the winners of its third annual Heritage Chef of the Year Awards with winners from across the UK and Ireland celebrated.
Launched in 2015, the competition showcases the organisation’s passion for fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce. This year’s final held at Electrolux, Luton, saw 13 talented chefs compete across four categories; Young Chef of the Year, Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Chef Manager of the Year.
Following a series of demanding regional heats, the finalists were challenged to create two dishes within just 90 minutes. Expert judges awarded top marks to those showcasing the best of locally sourced produce, skill, innovation and presentation.
Stephen Selwood, based in the South East, took the title of Young Chef of the Year. His dish of Newlyn’s Farm grilled pork chuck steak, sourced just 25 miles from his location in Reading, wowed the judges.
Irish-based Claire Rodden was awarded Chef of the Year in an incredibly tight category. Her dessert of baked yoghurt, AIB honey, elderflower, pickled apple and honeycomb was inspired by one of Ireland’s best products – dairy. The honey in the dish originated from the building in which she works, from one of seven hives, housing around 60,000 bees.
Pastry Chef of the Year was won by Sam Parsons, based in the South West. His beautifully simple dish of spiced plum and yoghurt ice cream showcased the very best of fresh, seasonal produce from his region.
Oxford-based Sean Campbell took the title of Chef Manager of the Year with a local lamb dish, complimented perfectly with heritage pumpkin and pickled golden beets.
Matt Hay, BaxterStorey chef director and judge, said: “This competition is about great chefs showcasing their skills and techniques to make exceptional dishes, using all locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.  It is something engrained in every chef at BaxterStorey and the standard this year was particularly high. We are proud to have such talented and passionate people in our business, and Heritage Chef is a great opportunity for us to recognise them, as shown by this year’s very deserving winners.”
The winners were awarded state of the art AEG Gourmet pro food processors by Electrolux, Mac Chef Knives and dinner for two.
The BaxterStorey’s Heritage Chef of the Year 2017 winners are:
Chef of the Year – Claire Rodden
Young Chef of the Year – Stephen Selwood
Pastry Chef of the Year – Sam Parsons
Chef Manager of the Year – Sean Campbell  

Nestlé Professional launches new report to tackle hospitality skills shortage #

Nearly a third (31%) of people don’t think hospitality is a career path you actively choose, according to a new report from Nestlé Professional.
The ‘BuzzBites: Talking Talent’ report offers an in-depth look at perceptions of the hospitality sector, as well as advice from industry professionals on how to better attract, upskill and retain talented individuals.
It aims to help tackle the current staff crisis, as the scale of recruitment needed becomes increasingly significant. Growth in the sector is surging, opening-up more and more roles, and Brexit is only expected to widen the skills gap further, leaving a shortfall of 60,000 workers a year.
Key findings from the research, conducted by Nestlé Professional in collaboration with 3GEM, reveal that 45% of millennials consider a career in hospitality a “stop gap”. What’s more, almost three quarters (73%) of managers are concerned the hospitality industry is no longer an attractive career option for millennials and 18% of those currently working in the industry are thinking of leaving in the next year.
However, all is far from lost. More than two thirds (70%) of hospitality workers say they are proud to work in the industry and 53% of those outside the sector think it would be rewarding. The research, which also found that more than half (57%) of those who have left the industry would consider returning[v], uncovers a huge opportunity for the sector to grow.
Paul Lumley, brand and communications manager at Nestlé Professional, explains how the report has been designed to help hospitality businesses tackle these challenges head on: “BuzzBites: Talking Talent brings together some of the biggest names in hospitality to offer best practice on the topic. It provides insight and innovative ideas on how to change outdated perceptions and top tips for how best to encourage new people into the industry for long-term careers.
“One of the strongest messages to come out of our research was just how important it is to reward employees for their achievements and help develop their career. Our very own Toque d’Or competition supports apprentices and students in their progression by celebrating their fantastic skills and has evolved over the last 30 years to leave a legacy that we can be proud of.
“If you are not involved already, we invite you to find out more about Toque d’Or today and join the growing number of businesses, individuals and industry bodies who are already sharing a common vision to nurture the talent of the future.”
To download a copy of the BuzzBites: Talking Talent report go to:

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland announces new head of supply chain and sustainability #

As part of its continued commitment to sustainability and business growth, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland has brought Liz Higgins into its senior team as head of supply chain and sustainability.
In the newly created role Liz will lead the strategic sourcing and supply chain activities for the coffee business, with the goal to improve the focus, processes and performance of this integral element of UCC Coffee’s Total Coffee Solution. Her remit includes raising sustainability higher up the business agenda to create a positive impact on the business, the supply chain and customers.
Liz, who joined the Total Coffee Solution business this summer, brings a wealth of supply chain and procurement experience to the team. Liz has previously held national, European and global roles at McDonald’s and Bidvest.
Elaine Higginson, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, said: “Liz brings experience, great leadership skills and a proven track record of delivering results. Her collaborative approach to working makes her a perfect fit to the culture we have at UCC Coffee.
“It's an exciting time for UCC Coffee and this appointment demonstrates our commitment to continue to invest in great people with expertise to set us apart from the competition and add value to our proposition.” 

The coffee that's saving the Sumatran orangutan #

Every hour, areas of tropical rainforest the size of 88 football pitches are cleared to make way for palm oil and other intensive forms of industrial agriculture – threatening the existence of native orangutans and farmers alike. But the Orang Utan Coffee Project is fighting back.
By making ecological coffee farming a viable alternative for local farmers, the Orang Utan Coffee Project is protecting the orangutans’ natural habitat. And at the same time, it’s providing much needed funds for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), which has already safely rehabilitated well over 200 orangutans.
The Coffee project is funded by the sales of Orang Utan Coffee: a 100% Arabica, single origin, single estate coffee – stocked in Waitrose and Ocado. For every kilogram of green coffee local farmers produce, they receive a premium. And a donation is made to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, covering about 4% of its yearly costs.
Leading conservationist, Doctor Ian Singleton, director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), said: “Because of the destruction of their habitat, only 14,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild today. By working with the SOCP, the Orang Utan Coffee Project is safeguarding the livelihoods of local farmers and bringing the Sumatran orangutan back from the brink. With their help, there is still hope for Sumatran orangutans and their rainforest home.”
But local farmers and orangutans aren’t the only winners. Coffee lovers in the UK win too, as these tropical rainforests also provide the special climate needed to grow the unique high-quality Arabica coffee beans in Orang Utan Coffee.
Phil Smith, head of category and insight, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, which produces Orang Utan Coffee, said: “Not only is there an inspirational story behind the Orang Utan brand, the coffee itself rates very highly in flavour and quality. That’s largely down to the unique climate of the Gayo Highlands in Central Aceh where the beans are grown. This coffee is a rare delicacy, whether served as drip coffee or espresso, so we’re delighted to be able to make it available to UK coffee drinkers.”

Sodexo cuts 86m calories with new sandwich range #

Sodexo has introduced a new sandwich range which will cut 86 million calories a year to consumers.

The relaunched Delifresh sandwich range, made by Adelie, is now available at more than 1,000 Sodexo sites in the UK.

The Sodexo culinary team worked with Adelie to create the tasty new range using responsibly-sourced ingredients. All the cheese is 12-month-matured West Country Barbers cheddar, all the chicken and ham is sourced in the British Isles and all the Tuna is line or pole caught.

The use of lower fat mayonnaise reduces the Delifresh range by 86 million calories based on last year’s volumes.

The new packaging was voted the most appealing and memorable design by consumers from a selection of concepts.

The Delifresh range is bespoke to Sodexo, who has a long-standing partnership with Adelie.

Paul Larson, head of retail, Sodexo Service Operations UK & Ireland, said: “This is the most exciting evolution of the Delifresh range to date. We have used our internal expertise to create not just a new sandwich but to create a new lunch solution where the bread and fillings complement each other to deliver the best sandwich range in the industry.

“Supported by new packaging and labelling this new range will deliver a fantastic experience for years to come. The reduced calorie count fits within our broader ambition to help our consumers eat more healthily.”

Keith Burton, senior executive chef, Sodexo Service Operations UK & Ireland, said: “Sodexo’s heritage has been built on strong foundations with food being at the very heart of the organisation and with sandwiches playing such a big part in our customers' everyday diet, we decided to carry out a complete review of the current range, this has resulted in a re-designing of each and every sandwich on the list.

“All the ingredients have been tried and tested before finding the best combination of bread to really highlight the individual flavour profiles, and focus being given to the build process of the sandwich to ensure that consistency is achieved each and every time.”

John Want, marketing director, Adelie Foods says: “Health and quality are two of the most important factors for consumers, so the new Delifresh range is spot on. We’ve worked with the chefs at Sodexo to ensure the whole range is of the highest quality, with all the bestsellers included – and the launch comes at a great time, when the sandwich category is growing faster than the rest of Food to Go.”

Give peas a chance - Sodexo makes Veg Pledge #

Sodexo joined major supermarkets, food-on-the-go chains and manufacturers at a summit in central London to commit to increasing the amount of vegetables in their meals.

The Peas Please initiative, organised by The Food Foundation, focuses on securing commitments from industry and government to improve the availability, acceptability (including convenience), affordability, and quality of the vegetable offer in shops, schools, fast food restaurants and beyond, and in turn stimulate increased vegetable consumption among the UK public, particularly children and those on a low income.

Sodexo is responsible for over one million meals per day that are served in schools, work restaurants, hospitals and armed forces.  At the summit, Sodexo will commit to:

• increase the volume of vegetables procured by 10% by 2020
• refine recipes to be more vegetable focused
• continue to develop sustainable meals
• support the promotion of vegetable-focused menus across the range of sites where we operate

Research shows that eating too little veg contributes to 20,000 premature deaths in the UK every year and that we should all be eating at least an extra portion every day. Data released by think tank The Food Foundation this summer showed that UK consumers are buying two thirds less veg than the amount recommended by health experts. According to Government guidance on a healthy diet, 20% of our shopping should be made up of vegetables, but in reality we only reach 7.2%.

David Mulcahy, food development and innovation director at Sodexo, said: “The Peas Please pledge is an opportunity for organisations like Sodexo to help consumers increase their vegetable consumption

“Through our corporate responsibility commitments, we are committed to offering 100% of our consumers’ healthy lifestyle choices every day.”

Sodexo becomes gender pay gap early adopter #

Sodexo has published its UK gender pay gap to become an early adopter of new Government legislation.

Under new regulations organisations with more than 250 employees are required to publish gender pay gap data by April 2018.

Government Equalities Office methodology requires organisations to share mean and median figures for differences in average hourly pay and bonus pay for men and women, in addition to the proportion receiving a bonus.

Sodexo’s overall average hourly median gender pay gap is 12.6 per cent and the mean gender pay gap is 14.9 per cent.

The gender split in four quartiles of the pay scale must also be published.

A clear commitment to gender balance has seen Sodexo included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the last four years.

Read Sodexo’s Gender Pay Report 2017.

Andy Rogers, Sodexo UK & Ireland HR director, said:  “At Sodexo we believe achieving gender balance is not only the right thing to do, it also enables people and our business to perform better. This belief is supported by global internal research which found our own gender-balanced management teams outperform those that are not across a number of key performance indicators.

“Visibility is crucial. We are proud to be included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the last four years. We have signed up to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles. But there is still so much more to do.

“Sodexo’s mission is to improve quality of life for people. Publishing our gender pay gap is one step on the journey to creating an inclusive culture where everyone can flourish.”

Green award win for the Crystal #

One of London’s leading conference and event venues has scooped another major award, after being named the most environmentally friendly venue in the UK.
The Crystal, at Royal Victoria Dock, was named Greenest Venue at the inaugural Hire Space Awards, held on 24 October.
The awards celebrate the best of the events industry by recognising and rewarding the UK’s most hard working, innovative and forward-thinking venues.
The Crystal’s official hospitality and catering provider, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, played a key role in helping the venue see off competition from across the country to land the accolade.
Judges were impressed by the Crystal’s expertise in green initiatives, including its use of environmentally friendly catering options, along with its use of technology to facilitate a sustainable business and its effective waste and recycling programme.
The Crystal, part of Siemens’ Sustainable Cities Initiative, is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, and was the first to simultaneously hold the Platinum accreditation in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Outstanding accreditation in Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
Offering the most technologically advanced event space in London, it boasts seven naturally-lit, fully equipped meeting rooms with panoramic views over the Royal Victoria Docks, along with a state-of-the-art auditorium and is home to the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities.
“We are absolutely delighted to have won another top award, this time in recognition of our green initiatives which are at the heart of everything that the Crystal is about,” said Zsanett Sedro, commercial assistant.
“We are thrilled that our hard work and commitment has once again been recognised, and this is testament to the hard work from everyone to ensure that the Crystal continues to be a pioneer in sustainability, in everything from its building design to its catering facilities.”

Chris Garside appointed Managing Director for Compass Group UK & Ireland #

Chris Garside was appointed managing director for Compass Group UK & Ireland, effective from 1 October 2017. Chris, currently managing director – ESS and Chartwells, replaces Dennis Hogan.
Dennis will return to the United States to take on the role of CEO of Foodbuy, replacing Tony Shearer who will be retiring in 2018. Chris will report into Dominic Blakemore who became deputy chief executive Officer, Compass Group PLC, on 1 October 2017.

Dennis will remain in the UK & Ireland business until the end of the year and will work with Chris to enable a smooth transition. During the transition period Chris will continue to manage ESS, whilst Richard Taylor, currently COO of Chartwells, will become managing director - Chartwells.

Commenting on the appointments, Dominic Blakemore said: “I’d like to thank Dennis for the exceptional contribution he’s made to our UK & Ireland business over the last four years. Dennis’ focus on driving sustainable growth has put the business on a strong footing and I’m delighted that Chris will be leading our UK & Ireland team in the next stage of its journey. I’d like to congratulate Chris, Dennis and Richard on their new appointments.” 

Compass Group UK & Ireland launch campaign to raise awareness of mental health in workplace #

Compass Group UK & Ireland marked World Mental Health Day by launching a campaign for its workforce, to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace and to provide colleagues with the support they need.

As part of this campaign, Compass has pledged to support employees, raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health within its health and wellbeing agenda. The business has also signed the Time to Change pledge, a growing movement which aims to support and change how people think and act about mental health, making sure that employees who are facing problems feel supported.

Statistics show that approximately one in four people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year. As a people-powered business, Compass is committed to further enhancing an open and inclusive workforce. Through this campaign, Compass has launched a new toolkit which is being rolled out across the business and delivers a set of guidelines to best support and promote positive mental health.

Compass has also introduced a network of 90 wellbeing ambassadors, made up of colleagues at all levels from across the business, who will help raise awareness, reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace and encourage open conversations.

Chris Garside, managing director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “We are extremely proud to have become signatories of the Time to Change pledge and are absolutely committed to raising awareness around mental health and further enhancing a supportive and open working environment through our own campaign.”

“Experiencing mental health problems is something that any one of us can go through at any point and as a business with around 60,000 employees it is essential that we provide the support needed by our colleagues in the workplace. We hope the work we are doing will go a long way in encouraging and promoting positive mental health.”

Jo Loughran, director of operations at Time to Change, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Compass Group UK & Ireland taking the lead.

“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."

Chartwells, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s specialist provider of catering to the education sector, recently announced a partnership with YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people.

Compass Group UK & Ireland to deliver first class catering & hospitality at University of Oxford #

The University of Oxford, the world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research, has appointed Compass Group UK & Ireland to provide catering and a range of hospitality services.

Compass Group will be bringing together its unparalleled family of experts from across the organisation to deliver an exciting and innovative food and beverage offer that complements the high standards reputation of the University of Oxford.

This new contract will see significant investment in the student, staff and visitor environment. Catering destinations will be renovated to create social hubs that provide inviting as well as practical meeting points and deliver a wide range of unique food and drink concepts. There will be a focus on sustainable sourcing and healthy eating, designed to meet the individual requirements of the different departments and locations. 

Compass will provide catering and hospitality services at 23 different locations at the University. Three bespoke brands - Beyond Ordinary Food at Oxford, Occasions at Oxford and Only at Oxford - will be introduced as key themes that will run throughout the different cafes, restaurants and hospitality services.

Liz Kitchener, head of strategic facilities management, University of Oxford said: “This is an exciting opportunity. The contract will deliver significant service, sustainability, financial, and compliance benefits. It will enable our customers to have a catering offering that has its own identity and character, recognising that one size does not fit all, while at the same time reflecting the first class quality synonymous with the University of Oxford.
Chris Garside, managing director, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “We are delighted to be working with Oxford University to deliver world class catering and hospitality services to its students, staff and visitors and are looking forward to bringing our UK and international expertise to the University.”   

Compass Group UK & Ireland achieve Red Tractor certification for fresh milk #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has received Red Tractor certification for the fresh milk served across its 15,000 UK sites.

Red Tractor certification acts as a mark of quality and trust, ensuring the journey from farm to packaging follows the rigorous standards set by the largest food standards scheme in the UK.

Transparent and ethical provenance is key to gaining the accreditation. This means all fresh milk must originate from responsible British farms, which only use fertilisers and pesticides when completely necessary, and that the whole supply chain is checked to ensure total compliance.

The commitment to buy milk from Red Tractor assured farms only was included in Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2016, published earlier this year. Similar sourcing targets included in the document include the pledge to use 100% cage free eggs by 2025 and ensure all tea, coffee and hot chocolate is ethically sourced by 2020.

Through achieving the certification, Compass will now display the Red Tractor logo at sites throughout the UK - communicating to clients and customers the quality of the fresh milk being served.

Duncan Gray, head of corporate responsibility – Compass Group UK & Ireland, stated: “Gaining Red Tractor certification for all our fresh milk is a fantastic step in providing our consumers and clients with confidence, that their milk is sourced from quality British farms.

“In our Corporate Responsibility Report 2016 we outlined a number of key sourcing commitments, with milk being one area of focus. This achievement acts as an indicator of our commitment to delivering all the targets we have set ourselves.”

Richard Cattel, head of marketing and communications – Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor), commented: “We are delighted to be able to certify Compass Group UK & Ireland’s fresh milk. Through working with the catering company we can confirm the sourcing practices meet the high standards we set on quality and provenance.

“Responsible sourcing is paramount to achieving the Red Tractor certification.  As the only whole chain scheme we can ensure that products displaying our logo originate from British farms and are produced to some of the most comprehensive and respected standards in the world.”