Members’ News

June 2022

Compass appoints Chief Climate and Sustainability Advisor #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has appointed leading University of Oxford expert, Professor Sir Charles Godfray FRS, as Chief Climate and Sustainability Advisor to its Executive Team. He will support the clients of Compass by primarily shaping and delivering the organisation’s industry leading commitment of reaching Climate Net Zero by 2030.
Professor Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He has spent his career at Oxford and Imperial College and is currently Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Population Biology at Oxford. 

Professor Godfray is particularly focussed on food security and chaired the UK Government Office of Science’s Foresight project on the Future of Food and Farming. Formerly Chair of Defra’s Science Advisory Council, he is an ongoing Trustee of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

In addition, he is Co-Director of the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) project at the University of Oxford that included an ecolabelling pilot, which Compass supported across its Business & Industry sector.
In 2017 he was knighted for services to scientific research and for scientific advice to government.

Commenting on the appointment Carolyn Ball, Director for Delivery of Net Zero, said:
Specialist guidance will play an increasingly integral role in the business decisions needed to deliver our climate commitments, so this level of direction and thought leadership within our Executive Team is a real privilege for everyone at Compass and all those working with us.”

Professor Sir Charles Godfray added:
Compass’ size and scale means that it is uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on the food system. The team’s commitment to working with suppliers, clients and its people is outstanding and I’m looking forward to contributing to their ambition. Together, we must create the blueprints for the wider industry to learn from.”

Tilda Celebrates School Caterers At LACA: Main Event #

Tilda Foodservice is putting school caterers centre stage and celebrating their work, with a series of exciting activities throughout LACA: The Main Event.
As the official sponsor of the Eat Them to Defeat Them Caterers’ Challenge,
Tilda will be revealing the winning school catering team that served up the ultimate veg and rice dish during the award-winning five week campaign from Veg Power and ITV.
Thrillingly the winner of this honour will be announced live on stage at the LACA Awards gala dinner, where they will be presented with the coveted trophy. LACA attendees will also get an exclusive try of the winning recipe by visiting Tilda’s stand, M9. The rice people will be cooking-up the tasty and nutritious dish using wholesome Tilda Brown & White. Delegates will also be able to speak to the team and learn more about Tilda’s commitment to schools as well as find out how school meals can be transformed for the new school year with a little help from Tilda rice.
Annette Coggins, Head of Foodservice, Tilda UK states:
We’re thrilled to be back at LACA: Main Event this summer and have so much to celebrate. The Caterers’ Challenge really highlighted the incredible work of school catering teams across the UK, and we were lucky enough to spend time with a number of these school heroes during this year’s Eat Them to Defeat Them. Tilda is looking forward to honouring them, as well as showing that delicious and nutritious on a budget meals are possible for school menus.”
Along with sampling delicious Tilda Brown & White recipes – a 50:50 mix of wholegrain and white rice – visitors to M9 will be able to pick up a complimentary limited edition Tilda tote bag. Packed with Tilda rice samples and Eat Them to Defeat Them Recipe cards – but hurry to avoid disappointment! There will also be the chance to play the Tilda Lucky Dip and win a Love2Shop voucher worth up to £50.
As part of Tilda’s ongoing charity work, centred on the welfare of children, the rice people are continuing their partnership and commitment to Mary’s Meals – a charity dedicated to providing free meals to the most vulnerable children in our communities. For every LACA sign up, Tilda will double their donation to Mary’s Meals, providing two meals for every 5Kg bag sold.
Tilda champions its Brown & White Rice for school catering, it brings together the health benefits of wholegrain with the taste and visual appeal of white rice.

With a 50:50 mix of wholegrain and white rice, Tilda’s Brown & White is the ideal combination offering a range of vitamins and minerals important for pupils’ development, allowing caterers to serve dishes that will maintain a sustained flow of energy throughout the school day.

Sodexo Live! wins big at 2022 Stadium Experience Awards #

Sodexo Live! has swept up at the 2022 Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards. Picking up 14 overall, Newcastle United Football Club scored three top awards and one silver, with Leeds Rhino Rugby Club taking home the prestigious 'Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience'. 

Voted for by a team of industry experts and resuming after a two-year break, the national awards ceremony recognises the dedication shown by catering, conference and events teams at every football and rugby stadium across the UK. 

Hosted at Anfield, home to Liverpool Football Club, each award category was independently judged. Some are voted for by stadium directors, and others are decided by teams of experts with many years of experience in their fields. 

Newcastle United took home the most, with the team earning top awards for 'Matchday Hospitality Award – Large Stadium', 'Best Stadium Events Venue' and 'Operations Team of the Year'. These are in addition to executive head chef Graham Proctor picking up silver for the 'Outstanding Contribution Award', which recognises outstanding individuals in the industry. 

Gemma Nugent, Duty Manager at Newcastle United’s St. James Park, Sodexo UK & Ireland, commented:  “This year has been a rollercoaster for all at NUFC.  We have conquered some monumental challenges, so words cannot describe how delighted we are to accept this award on behalf of our incredibly hard-working team at NUFC!”.  

Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club were the final winners of the evening, triumphing in the 'Overall Matchday Hospitality Experience 2022' and the 'Matchday Hospitality Award – Small Stadium'. 

Rachel Fox, Account Manager at Headingley Stadium, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “The opportunity to bring the team together to experience a fantastic night with like-minded colleagues from UK stadia has been amazing. To achieve an award and recognition on top is just phenomenal. I can’t wait until next year!” 

Sodexo Live! also won silver in the following categories:

‘Visiting Rugby Directors Award’ - Wigan Warriors Rugby club
‘Matchday Hospitality Award - Medium Stadium’ Blackburn Rovers Football club 

And bronze for:

‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ - Rachel Laming, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
‘Chef Team of the Year’ - Everton Football Club
'Operations Team of the Year' - Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
‘Matchday Hospitality Award - Medium Stadium’ Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
'Best Stadium Events Venue' - Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
‘Matchday Hospitality Award - Large Stadium’ - Hampden Park Stadium 

David Trotter, divisional director at Sodexo Live! added: “We are absolutely delighted to receive 14 different honours at this year’s Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented and dedicated teams across England and Scotland who strive to go that extra mile to give our customers and corporate clients the very best experience on every visit. 

“To receive so many awards against such strong opposition proves that we have the best teams in the business, and we are thrilled to receive this recognition for our venues

Who’s got Foodservice Influence? #FEAtop100 #

FEA opens Foodservice Top 100 Industry Influencers nominations for 2022

Who are the most influential individuals in the foodservice industry in 2022?  FEA (the Foodservice Equipment Association) is going to unveil the answer in its Foodservice Top 100 Industry Influencers, which recognises the people who inspire, campaign, innovate, educate and lead the whole foodservice industry. 

Nomination is simple – all you have to do is submit your chosen individual’s social media handles and up to four of their social media accounts to the FEA’s nomination form (  However, making it onto the Top 100 Industry Influencers list isn’t a given. The final Top 100 list  is aggregated from the initial long list of all the nominees and the evaluation is based on FEA’s criteria of real world industry impact and digital media influence. Following the evaluation, the list of nominees is ranked to create the Top 100 Industry Influencers. 

The whole point is that the Foodservice Top 100 Industry Influencers is not about how many times a name is nominated,” says Adam Lawrence, marketing manager of FEA.  “It's about the influence that that individual has across their social media platforms and any further real word influence.”

So who will in?  Last year Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality CEO, was number one with Henry Dimbleby, co-founder, Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and Lindsay Graham, poverty and inequality commissioner, Poverty and Inequality Commission Scotland, in second and third places respectively. 

This year the field is wide open.  It could be a great development chef, an inspirational cook, a sales team leader, a marketing manager, a CEO who's worked wonders, an industry journalist…..any social media handle that is submitted will be included in the evaluation process. 

The FEA Foodservice Top 100 Industry Influencers list celebrates the individuals and teams that are making a positive impact across their social channels and inspiring and influencing those around them.  It’s important to remember that this is open to the whole foodservice industry,” says Lawrence.  

Last year, the top three ranking FEA members were Trevor Burke, MD, Exclusive Ranges, Peter Kitchin, MD, C&C Catering Equipment, and Nic Banner, vice president sales UK and Ireland, Specifi, respectively.

Anyone associated with the foodservice or hospitality industry can nominate an individual or team for the List, and they can nominate as many people as they like, including themselves.  “We are celebrating all the great work, the inspiration and positive impact that has been shared via social media,” says Lawrence.  “The more people who join in the celebration, the better.” 

The closing date for nominations is 31st August 2022 and the Top 100 will be unveiled on Wednesday 9th November during the FEA Industry Conference.   
You can follow the latest Top 100 Influencers news, and add comments, using the hashtags #FEAtop100 #FEAuk. 

For more information about the Top 100 Influencers, visit the influence section of the FEA website
The nomination form is online at
The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit 

"Kids in America" star helps Costcutter Codicote celebrate 181st Year of Trading #

Bestway Wholesale, the UK’s largest independent food and drink wholesaler, is delighted to announce that its Costcutter Codicote store celebrated its 181st year at the weekend.

Having undergone a whole new look and refit, the shop has opened its doors with the ribbon being cut by 80’s pop star and Radio DJ, Kim Wilde accompanied by Tony Lutkin who are both familiar local faces in the store.

The store was first opened by Joseph Robarts in 1841 and has been at the heart of the community ever since.  Today the store is run by Josie Chamberlin, the fifth family generation alongside a great team, many of whom have been with Robarts for over 30 years.

To celebrate the anniversary the store opted for a major refit to keep it fresh and exciting and meet the changing needs of its customers who can now enjoy a much greater choice of chilled products as well as a greater selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.

There’s now an extensive range of beers, wines, and spirits, (which includes over 250 wines) for customers to choose from, and the store will soon be hosting regular instore wine tastings.

The impressive delicatessen offers a wide range of cheeses, charcuterie, and locally sourced products including local sausages and pies. In addition, a bean coffee machine and a slush machine have been installed to ensure the store caters for all members of the family.

As part of the celebrations the store had goody bags for customers and ran a raffle throughout the week giving customers the opportunity to win some super prizes. The winners of the raffle were announced at the opening.

Josie Chamberlin, Store Owner, said,
It was a truly amazing day with so many of our customers and friends joining us to celebrate our 181st year and our significant refit.

“We were delighted that Kim Wilde was able to join us and carry out the formal opening of our revamped store. It’s taken lots of hard work to get to where we are and it was wonderful to celebrate the opening with many of our loyal customers and hopefully we will attract new customers too

Josie, who has signed up to another five years with the Costcutter brand recently, added:
We have worked with Costcutter for 6 years and have just signed up to another five years as we are delighted with the support we receive from them – they have been particularly supportive of our refit and re-launch.

We choose to work with Costcutter over other retail brands, not only because of the support we receive, but because Costcutter has an impressive supply chain and product range which is essential when running a busy local store like ours

TWC reveals new features in Smartview tool #

Data and digital consultancy TWC has unveiled a new report within its SmartView dashboard platform that allows users to create a category review in just a few minutes.

The ‘Supplier Engagement Report’ pulls together data from the SmartView platform into one pre-formatted dashboard that summarises performance, allowing both buyers and suppliers to understand what is driving performance – and why.

SmartView is a reporting tool for wholesalers, convenience, foodservice and on-trade operators that enables the operator and its suppliers to use sales data to make business decisions based on knowledge and fact.

TWC prides itself on its technology being simple to use and intuitive, endorsed by a recent supplier survey which rated ease of use at 9 out of 10. In addition, the business has a development roadmap for each of its products to ensure that it continues to meet – and exceed – clients’ evolving needs.

The supplier engagement report was developed in response to several client requests that centred on how to identify performance drivers to aid buyer/supplier conversations. The report includes useful tools such as an opportunity calculator, which allows users to assess the size of prize attached to a defined change in key performance measures. Meanwhile, the category opportunity tab identifies the value opportunity for the supplier by achieving fair share or by growing in line with the category.

Jim Brown, Senior Trading Controller at Unitas Wholesale said:
It’s no longer enough for our traders to take a quick look at sales performance and point out to a supplier that they are not growing in line with the category, or that their share in a particular sub-category could be higher. With the wealth of data that we have access to via our TWC dashboards we realised that we could quickly identify the 'why' behind a supplier's performance and therefore understand how to improve, maintain or drive their position.”

He continues: “The Supplier Engagement report pulls the relevant information together into one place and means we can then have a constructive conversation about the biggest opportunities. All the Unitas Trading team has had individual training on the platform, and they are now working on embedding these report outputs into their meeting plans.”

Tanya Pepin, Managing Director, TWC said:
We’re delighted with the positive response to the supplier engagement report. We set out to create an interactive dashboard that would allow the time-pressed buyer or category manager to quickly understand the biggest opportunities in a category. The report has had fantastic feedback and aligns perfectly with our vision for a channel that is truly data led.”

To find out more about TWC Technology solutions, click

Double win for The Soho Sandwich Company at The Sammies Awards 2022 #

The Soho Sandwich Co., one of the UK’s leading sandwich makers have been awarded ‘Manufacturer of the year’ and ‘Sandwich designer of the year’ at the Sammies Awards, or as they call themselves ‘the Grammys of the sandwich world’. The prestigious ceremony celebrated professionals from the British Sandwich & Food to Go Industry and took place at the Royal Lancaster hotel in London on the 05th May 2022.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Soho Sandwich Co. started supplying hundreds of Covid-19 testing sites across the country, which in turn allowed them to go national and they can now deliver anywhere in the UK. As a result, they expanded their production site and added 13,000 sq. feet of dispatch and storage space to their North London factory to fulfil demand. In line with their core company values, they have given back by supporting two incredible charities, Nutri Tank and CoronaCare Challenge with gifting over 10,000 sandwiches to NHS staff as a thank you for their hard work and dedication during these unprecedented times
The ‘Sandwich Designer of the year’ Award (H. Smith category) went to Susannah Montgomery, NPD Manager at The Soho Sandwich Co. who created the beautifully constructed ‘Oishii Sando’, a nod to Japanese flavours and food aesthetic. The word ‘Oiishi’ means delicious & tasty in Japanese and the word ‘Sando’ describes a Japanese style sandwich and these were certainly reflected in the technical and visually striking sandwich she created for the occasion.

Speaking about her win, Susannah said: ‘I’ve produced a product which is accessible to the retail food-to-go market and has the impact of a Japanese Sando. The milk bread is coated in black sesame seeds for striking visual impact. Within the milk bread is lime & miso mayonnaise, edamame & spring onion crush, chicken breast and lightly pickled carrot ribbons, all giving lots of savoury moreish flavours

Both accolades are a great testament of how The Soho Sandwich Co. bounced back as a team when the hospitality sector shut down and will undoubtedly help them continue to thrive in this very competitive market. With 66 items on their current menu, their primary goal is to continue to innovate and be at the forefront of consumers’ demands and trends in the food to go market.

Bestway Wholesale’s Retail Development Awards 2022 Retail Winners Revealed #

The winners of Bestway Wholesale’s Retail Development Awards (RDA’s) 2022 have been revealed (Wednesday 25 May 2022), at a glittering ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London.

As part of Bestway’s inspirational Retail Development Programme, the Retail Development Awards celebrate outstanding achievements and business successes from Bestway Retail and independent retailers up and down the country.
The event saw a 400-strong audience of independent retailers, members of the Bestway Retail symbol group members (Best-one, Bargain Booze and Costcutter), and Bestway Wholesale’s Xtra Local Retail Club as well as key supply partners, come together to showcase and recognise exemplars of best practice and growth, seen over the past year.

The annual Retail Development programme is unique and leads the market sector. Exclusive to Bestway Wholesale, customers and Bestway Retail’s symbol group members, the programme gives independent retailers the opportunity to attend a series of seminars and workshops offering advice and guidance on how to drive growth and best meet their customers’ needs. This is supported by a trade show where retailers can meet suppliers, learn about new products and services and industry trends, and in the words of the RDA – ‘Connect, Learn and Grow’.

Retailers are then evaluated after six months to see how they have implemented the learnings in their store to help grow category sales and grow their business before they have the chance to enter the Awards and potentially win a share of a total prize fund worth over £50,000.

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director at Bestway Wholesale, says:
For us here at Bestway, this is one of the most exciting events in the industry calendar.  I am always humbled by the sheer talent, commitment and determination of our retailers and nowhere is this evidenced more strongly than within our Retail Development Awards.

“The Retail Development Programme does what it says on the tin. It’s there to help our retailers develop and make more possible within their businesses and with our supplier partners the programme also offers a unique opportunity for retailers and suppliers to get together.

“It’s all about sharing, learning and growing, and whilst our industry is undoubtedly facing unique challenges, let’s not forget we are also facing immense opportunity. 
“Tonight’s results are on the back of hard work, dedication and unwavering vision on the part of each retailer

The category awards were presented by Kenton Burchell, Group Trading Director at Bestway Wholesale, the Community Award was presented by Mike Hollis, Retail Director at Bestway Retail, alongside award sponsors Kim Reddick, Commercial Director at Independent Retail News.   Mike also presented the Regional and National Awards.

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director at Bestway Wholesale presented the winner of the National Bestway Retailer of the Year, who received the highly sought-after cheque for £10,000, alongside a trophy and a certificate.

The winners are:
Category Awards
Soft Drinks: Four Seasons, Liverpool
Water: Best-one Plus, St Helens
Beer & Cider: M.R. Foodstores, Leamington-Spa
Wines & Spirits: Stanley Wines, Warrington
Tobacco: M1 Metro, Manchester
Confectionery: S & B Supermarket, Northampton
Crisps & Snacks: Costcutter, Kidderminster
General Grocery: Green & Fresh, Hackney, London
Household, Health and Beauty: Simis Food and Wine, Thornton Heath
Chilled & Dairy: Best-one Jacks, Prescot
Pet Food: Best-one Fiveways, Tipton
Baby Food: Manor Park Mini Market, Newham, London 

Community Award sponsored by Independent Retail News
Community Award: Weeley Post Office and store, Clacton-On-Sea 

Regional and National Awards
Southern Winner: Mini Supermarket, Croydon
Northern Winner: D&S Stores, Tamworth
Scottish Winner: Brownlies, Biggar, Scotland
National Bestway Retailer of the Year: Fairways, Wallasey, Merseyside

For further information on Bestway Wholesale, please visit and for information on Bestway Retail, please visit

Lord’s Cricket Ground names Freemans Event Partners as Food & Beverage partner #

Freemans Event Partners has agreed a long-term partnership with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to deliver a range of event solutions at Lord’s Cricket Ground, one of the most iconic sports venues in the world.
The new multi-year agreement follows a successful trial period in 2021 and will see Freemans Event Partners managing a major part of the public catering offering and all payment solutions to deliver leading food and drink options for visitors at the venue.
By growing the breadth and diversity of the public food and beverage offering, Freemans Events Partners will support the venue in enhancing the customer experience further, broadening the public catering footprint on multiple levels across the whole site.
Freemans Event Partners has designed bespoke menus and brand-new outlets exclusively for Lord’s Cricket Ground ensuring the food and beverage offering matches the customer demographic of the venue.
As a leading ISO and PCI compliant provider, Freemans Event Partners will also deploy industry-leading payment technology solutions across the venue, enabling spectators to make fast and reliable card transactions. Freemans Event Partners will manage payment processes and payment hardware across all point-of-sale locations within the venue, including the food outlets, bars, Lord’s Tavern and hospitality suites. The payment systems will be fully integrated with the venue’s digital POS platforms.
Andy Muggleton, Assistant Secretary (Commercial), MCC commented:
Having worked with Freemans Event Partners in 2021, we are delighted to have agreed this long-term partnership that will ensure our food and beverage offering continues to be of the finest standard our visitors expect. We’re looking forward to welcoming spectators to Lord’s this season and providing them with a memorable experience, both on and off the field”.
Freemans Event Partners provides event solutions to over 400 of the UK and Europe’s biggest events and venues, from Silverstone, Twickenham and The DP World Tour to the Boomtown Fair and Victorious festival.  
A family-owned business, which began life in 1975 as a single fish and chips outlet at Silverstone, Freemans Event Partners now offers a full range of services to iconic venues and festivals from catering, bars, concessions and product wholesale through to payment solutions and brand partnerships.
Stephen Freeman, CEO at Freemans Event Partners adds:
Over the years we have built a strong reputation delivering innovative and elevated food and beverage solutions for some of the most iconic events in the country. The opportunity to develop a premium offering alongside one of the most esteemed and historic sporting venues in the world is a momentous and hugely exciting project for us. We really appreciate Lord’s Cricket Ground’s trust in our ability to deliver an enhanced customer experience.
“This appointment is testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Freemans Event Partners team and we look forward to a being part of the international cricket calendar

Compass celebrates ROSPA award wins #

RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has once again recognised Compass Group UK & Ireland for achieving high levels of Health and Safety across its sectors. 
The RoSPA Awards reward companies and people around the world for their health and safety performance. They are considered one of the most prestigious and recognised HSE recognition schemes in the world with almost 2,000 entries every year, across 50 countries. The awards benchmark safety performance and acknowledge best practice. 

Compass acknowledgements awarded in 2022 include:
Levy UK + Ireland has achieved a Gold Award for the seventh consecutive year, for its high standards operating in some of the UK’s leading sports and events venues.
ESS Defence and Government Services has received its fourth President’s Award, having received 13 Gold Awards running, for their consistent high standards.

Compass’ Healthcare sector also received a President’s Award, following ten consecutive years of Gold Awards and Gold - Highly Commended for health and safety practices across 815 sites including NHS Trusts within Medirest; Medirest Signature (Private Healthcare); retail and instore; and White Oaks (Care Homes and Residential Living) and the Cuisine Centres.Russell Blake, Managing Director, Healthcare – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Being Highly Commended by RoSPA for our health and safety standards is an extremely important achievement to us, as we strive to uphold the highest of standards for our team, clients, patients and residents that we work with. During the pandemic this work has been highlighted and rightly recognised as imperative to the smooth running of healthcare settings, so this acknowledgement means a lot to myself and the entire team.” 
Mark Armstrong, HSE & Technical Services Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “These awards highlight the outstanding efforts of our people to deliver high standards of health and safety practices across our organisation. As we all recover from the pandemic, we have worked hard to provide help and advice to our customers, clients and colleagues, so that we can all move forward in the safest way possible. As always, we will continue to make health and safety our operational priority throughout the business.”

Sodexo Live! hosts a sustainable showcase at RHS Chelsea Flower Show #

Sodexo Live! soared into the 2022 summer event season, surpassing pre-pandemic sales by serving 9,000 showground visitors and 4,500 hospitality guests at the world-famous Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.

For over 30 years, Sodexo Live! has worked with the RHS to deliver world-class experiences in food and hospitality and, in 2022, a new plant-based dining concept was piloted at the show in the Thames View Café and a Champagne Terrace Bar was introduced (sponsored by Pommery Champagne), alongside official hospitality at Jardin Blanc.

In addition to the plant-based Thames View Café, Sodexo Live! also introduced Soul Deli at Rock Bank food market as another innovation for 2022. Combining gourmet flavours with street-food convenience, the team used middle eastern flavours to serve up delicious food made with craft from seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Showground visitors raised a glass-or-two to the jubilee this year, consuming 16,000 glasses of Pommery Champagne.

Returning to RHS Chelsea Flower Show for its sixth year, Jardin Blanc - delivered in partnership with double-Michelin-starred chef, Raymond Blanc OBE - provided hospitality guests with truly memorable experiences centred around fresh and sustainable produce, with menus inspired by the ‘Simply Raymond’ book and television programme. Guests relished in the experience of Jardin Blanc, as post-event consumer surveys reported a univeral five-star rating from guests.

Jardin Blanc is famous for bringing together inspired contributors from artists to entertainers to create elevated experiences for its guests. One such partnership is with The Garden Army as part of a commitment to sourcing fresh, locally grown ingredients and reducing food waste across the UK. CEO of The Garden Army, Tom Morphew, held talks at Jardin Blanc with guests throughout the week, speaking about the benefits of regenerative farming on the environment and how horticultural therapy can have a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health.

With a long-running heritage in embracing sustainability, the team delivering RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year committed to take action on food waste. This is in accordance with Sodexo’s Appetite for Action 2022 report, which provides recommendations for both organisations and the government on how food waste can be measured and reduced. All food waste at the show was recycled on-site, and  perishable produce was donated to City Harvest – a charity distributing surplus food to feed those local communities most in need.

Mark Miller, executive director for Sodexo Live! said: “The long overdue return of hospitality has not been easy or straight-forward for anyone in the industry, but we are delighted to have been able to partner with the RHS to deliver a fantastic offering, beginning our season of major events in a hugely positive way - partnering with Raymond Blanc OBE once again, and introducing new concepts that both reflect changing consumer preferences and provide responsible service that protects the planet.”

Lorcán Leavy Crowned Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year 2022 #

Eight Compass apprentice chefs battled it out at the annual Compass Chef of the Year culinary final, held at the Compass Group headquarters in Chertsey. Each chef was presented with a mystery box of ingredients, including chicken, mackerel, and seasonal produce, and tasked to create two courses in just two hours.

After an incredibly close competition, Lorcán Leavy, Apprentice Commis Chef at a Restaurant Associates site in the City, was crowned Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year 2022. His winning menu was a starter of Charred Mackerel, Fennel and Baby Beetroot, followed by Roasted Chicken Breast with Leek and Asparagus. Dylan Patel, Apprentice Chef de Partie at Restaurant Associates and Joao Fioribelli, Apprentice Professional Cookery Chef at Compass Ireland came second and third respectively.

Lorcán was recruited under an apprenticeship scheme and joined Restaurant Associates seven months ago, he is studying his Level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship at Westminster Kingsway College. He was absolutely thrilled to take home the trophy and commented: “I’m really happy to have won, it’s been a really good learning experience and has taught me to stay calm under pressure.”

Places in the final were earned by competing in regional and semi-final competitions earlier this year. All competitors will be part of the brigade of chefs to cook at the annual Apprenticeship of the Year special dinner at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in July, where Lorcán will cook his winning menu for over 100 VIP guests.

Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, Jonathan Foot, said of the competition: “I’m blown away each year by the standard of cooking from our apprentices, especially with them only having 24 hours to create a menu from the mystery box. The Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year competition presents our apprentice chefs with a fantastic opportunity to work under pressure and apply the skills and knowledge that they’ve learnt as part of their apprenticeship qualification.

The culinary competition was judged by Michelin Chef and Compass Ireland Culinary Ambassador Danni Barry; Mark Belford, Culinary Academy Vice Principal, HIT Training; Compass Group UK & Ireland Culinary Director, Nick Vadis; and B&I Executive Chef, Jason Trotman. 

Ainhoa Diez Fernandez – Apprentice Chef de Partie, Chartwells Independent
Carlos Cruz – Apprentice Commis Chef, Compass Ireland
Dylan Patel  – Apprentice Chef de Partie, Restaurant Associates
Jacob Banting – Apprentice Commis Chef, ESS Defence
Joao Fioribelli – Apprentice Professional Cookery Chef, Compass Ireland
Laura Smith – Apprentice Senior Production Chef, Chartwells Independent
Lorcán Leavy – Apprentice Commis Chef, Restaurant Associates
Patricio Pienovi – Apprentice Commis Chef, Compass Ireland

Foodservice and facilities management specialist Nigel Forbes joins CH&CO #

CH&CO has appointed Nigel Forbes as an Executive Director to strengthen its strategic partnerships

Working closely with CH&CO’s leadership team, Nigel will use his expertise and knowledge to nurture the catering and hospitality company’s growing partnership with facilities management and professional services company Mitie and its clients. He will also identify opportunities for further growth and retention, adding additional value across CH&CO’s diverse business.

Nigel has a strong background and reputation in both food service and integrated facilities management.  He has held senior leadership roles and for the last 15 years he has consulted on strategy and growth across a broad portfolio of private and public sector organisations.

Nigel said: “I have known the CH&CO team for many years and I’m delighted to be joining such an enthusiastic group of foodservice professionals who are focused on providing quality food and service, always with the clients and customers at its centre.”

Bill Toner, CH&CO’s CEO, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Nigel has joined us at CH&CO. His strong skillset and expertise within the sector will help drive the business forward and further strengthen our strategic partnerships as well as adding value to the wider business as we continue to rebuild and grow.”

Sodexo among the first to achieve SBTi validation on net-zero target for UK business #

Sodexo’s near and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as the business prioritises decarbonisation to reach net-zero emissions and reduce its impact on climate change. 

Sodexo announced today that international experts, SBTi, have validated its net-zero science-based target by 2045* and long-term science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90% across all scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2045**. This long-term science-based target, set against a baseline of 2017, incorporates emissions created throughout Sodexo’s value chain, including its supply chain and client sites, and not just those produced by its direct operations (often known as scope 1 and 2).   

Sodexo has understood its carbon impacts and followed the science since 2010; this maturity enabled Sodexo to be chosen to road test the SBTi's target validation criteria and guidance for its new net-zero standard. The road test was set up to ensure the criteria, guidance, and net-zero target setting tools which SBTi provides to companies are robust, clear, and practical. 

Sodexo announced its comprehensive roadmap to net-zero and decarbonisation of its UK & Ireland business in October 2021. At that time, the SBTi had already validated its near-term science-based target of reducing GHG emissions by 55% by 2030***, which Sodexo are on track to meet, having already achieved a -38.5% reduction in FY21. Sodexo has followed the SBTi framework to ensure the net-zero targets and commitments are authentic, transparent and credible. 

Sodexo will reach net-zero emissions once it achieves its long-term science-based target, prioritising decarbonisation with any remaining emissions being permanently neutralised. As part of Sodexo’s Social Value strategy, the organisation recognises the impact it has on the planet. 

The validation of a net-zero science-based target by the SBTi provides a defined, long-term pathway to reduce GHG emissions, consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The target covers all scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions across the value chain of a company, including those produced by their own processes (scope 1), purchased electricity (scope 2), and generated by suppliers upstream and end-users downstream (scope 3). 

In the last six months, Sodexo has made considerable progress with its net-zero targets by achieving the following: 

Deploying a carbon trajectory tool to identify measurable steps to achieve its near and long-term science-based targets
Progressing its 2022 commitment to procure 100% renewable electricity
Conducting detailed energy efficiency audits across 98% of its direct operations
Deploying Sodexo’s food waste prevention programme, WasteWatch, to more Sodexo client sites. The programme now covers 46% of raw material spent within its UK&I business
Launching a 100% electric vehicle and hybrid company car policy in the UK
Increasing plant-based menu options across its food service and catering operations
Engaging key supply chain partners on net-zero and conducting a survey to understand its GHG emission reduction targets and commitments 

Claire Atkins-Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

Not all net-zero commitments are created equal. We are incredibly proud to be one of such a small number of organisations to have our targets validated by the SBTi’s rigorous process. We recognise that the only way to keep 1.5°C in sight is one that prioritises emissions reductions, both in the near and long-term.

“SBTi’s careful and high-quality analysis of our emissions goals will support us in delivering Sodexo’s ambitious net-zero commitments.

The SBTi is an organisation that enables businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is focused on accelerating companies worldwide to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net zero emissions before 2050. 

As a leading food services provider, Sodexo is tackling food waste as part of its drive to reduce its impact on climate change. Last year the business launched the first phase of its Appetite for Action campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the link between food waste and carbon emissions.

TWC announces new strategic wholesale data project with Swizzels #

Sugar confectionery manufacturer, Swizzels Matlow Limited, is working with data and digital consultancy TWC to develop a data-led sales strategy to drive incremental growth within the wholesale channel.
Swizzels invest in shipments data for several wholesalers, but with the data sets in different formats and with limited internal resource, the team didn’t have the time to mine the data to get to wholesale specific insights and ensure they were focussing their attention on the biggest opportunities by customer.
TWC cleansed the data and organised it according to Swizzels’ view of the sugar category and sub-brands, providing clarity on performance for the total channel and highlighting key opportunities for the business. Monthly reports and quarterly deep-dives arm the Swizzels team with the facts they need to support trading relationships and track performance.
Swizzels is now able to monitor wholesale sales to sense check sales strategy and demonstrate to their customers that the channel strategy is working and driving mutual growth for Swizzels and their customers.  Working with TWC has driven collaboration and the data has been used to drive performance in national and local wholesalers to great effect.
Ben Cooper, National Account Controller Wholesale, Swizzels, said:
TWC has done the heavy lifting to get our wholesale data into the right format so that it’s ready to use and the team take the time to sit down with me and go through the monthly reports and how we are performing against the targets we set at the start of the project. This means we can work in tandem, using my knowledge of the complex and fragmented sugar confectionery category, with TWC’s intricate knowledge of what works in the channel.”
He continues: “The analysis arms me with the proof I need to influence my customers. Furthermore, the TWC team understand the pressures and complexity of wholesale and the daily challenges faced so take a flexible and collaborative approach, meaning there is support when I need it.”
Tanya Pepin, Managing Director, TWC, said:
We are delighted to be working with Swizzels on this project. Our mission is to harness data to empower our clients to make data-led decisions. We are passionate about helping our clients thrive, using our data expertise and market knowledge to help them take control of their business. Our TWC Consulting offer recognises that many businesses don’t have the resource to execute forensic, channel-specific analysis or the time to review reams of data and this is where we come in.”
TWC Consulting offers impartial guidance to suppliers and operators, based on a detailed understanding of the routes to market and extensive industry knowledge and underpinned by a realistic grasp of what works in the channel and what doesn’t. To find out more go to:

New Sodexo Live! CEO and marketing director appointed #

Sodexo Live! has appointed Rebecca Kane Burton as its new UK and Ireland CEO and Nicci Clarke as marketing director for its sports, events and hospitality business. 

Prior to joining Sodexo Live! Rebecca had extensive experience in the live entertainment industry, having most recently worked as AEG’s Vice President for The O2 and as CEO for Lloyd Webber Theatres. She also held senior roles at English Heritage and Alexandra Palace. Rebecca joins Sodexo Live! on 6 June and, in addition to joining the UK and Ireland regional leadership committee, Rebecca will also become a member of the Sodexo Live! global executive committee.

Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO for Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland:
I am excited to join Sodexo Live! as we head into a busy summer season of events. I am looking forward to driving our strategic ambition and accelerating growth in a market that has high development potential. Sodexo Live! has a talented team delivering excellence in all the services they deliver and I can’t wait to meet them and see their expertise first hand." 

Nicci Clarke also joins the Sodexo Live! UK and Ireland senior team as marketing director. With over 15 years of experience delivering strategic and digital marketing in the retail sector, Nicci joins Sodexo from Punch Pubs & Co, where she led a marketing strategy for an estate of over 1,300 establishments.

Nathalie Bellon-Szabo, CEO worldwide Sodexo Live! said:
I am delighted to welcome Rebecca and Nicci to the UK and Ireland team. The UK is a key part of Sodexo Live! global growth strategy, the business is recovering well from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is starting to show signs of strong growth. We look forward to supporting Rebecca and her team as they deploy their expertise across major venues and events to provide the best service to our clients and customers

Happy hospitality: positivity the overriding theme at FEA’s 2022 Light Equipment and Tableware Forum #

What’s next in tableware?  Which gadget will chefs be lusting after later this year? FEA’s Light Equipment and Tableware (LET) Forum is the place to find out.  The annual event has had a two-year hiatus but was back with a bang at Whittlebury Hall, Towcester, May 10-11. 

The over-riding feeling of the event was positivity.  Steve Goodliff, chair of FEA’s LET Group, said, “It was an absolute joy to be part of this year’s Forum.  Dealers and suppliers are reporting a strong bounceback, some seeing sales even higher than pre-Covid.  But you know what?  Another reason for all the smiles was the simple pleasure of meeting people face to face again.” 

Delegates and suppliers agreed.  Diane Kinkead, head of light equipment at Bunzl Catering Supplies, said, “I’ve been coming for many, many, many years.  I think it’s a brilliant forum, both for people who are experienced in the industry and those who are new.”  From the suppler side, Ross Gibson of PFR said, “The Forum is always excellent, very much on point. If we only did one event per year, this would be it.”

In terms of the big trends, melamine and polycarbonate were strongly in evidence.  Many foodservice professionals were putting this down, at least in part, to the huge increase in outdoor eating and drinking.  In addition, manufacturers have excelled themselves in developing new and exciting designs – many of them very much in keeping with another of the big trends: all things organic.  Textured melamine dishes and bowls, many in natural, uneven shapes, were the order of the day.  Meanwhile, over in ceramics, reactive glazes add to the natural, spontaneous ambience of the organic approach. 

Colours continue to fly.  Although white tableware will always be popular, delegates and suppliers alike attested to the popularity of colour.  Certain hues were clearly winning in 2022, though finding a common theme is not easy – the most popular range from rich, bright marine blues to muted sage.  Perhaps that just goes to underline another trend: the eclectic nature of table top presentations.  The mixing and matching of steel, wood, glass, ceramic, melamine, whites and colours … it’s no holds barred when it comes to the table top designer’s palate.  

After Covid, hygiene and safety occupy an even bigger part of the buyer’s criteria.  That was evident in, for example, buffet products that presented food in single portion, covered containers.   Similarly, suppliers noted strong sales for sauce dispensers that minimised the potential for cross contamination.  Personalisation is another clear trend, with many companies offering relatively inexpensive and low volumes on personalised products ranging from plastic squeeze bottles to wooden pepper mills.  And personalisation continues to play its part in Covid-safe hospitality, with products such as bespoke signs directing customers to help maintain social distancing. 

Sustainability is clearly going to be ever more important, both as part of product development and within buying selection processes.  Launches here includes low cost, reusable stainless steel cutlery (for ‘aldesko’ eating), highly energy-efficient grills, knife-life-prolonging sharpeners, scouring pads made of walnut shells, and compostable coffee pods. 

We all know about the supply issues that Covid and Brexit are causing.  Many of the suppliers commented on the steps they are taking to ensure they can maintain supplies for their customers.  “We’ve been focused on getting stock rather than developing products!” was one company’s response to the ‘what’s new?’ question.  Another reported that, pre-Covid, they ran at around £3 million-worth of stock, whereas currently it was almost £5 million, to give customers as many options as possible.   Meanwhile, things are improving: a manufacturer said that, at its worst customers had had to wait for up to 14 weeks for an order – that’s now down to 2 weeks. 

Meanwhile, several suppliers said that, during the pandemic, certain product lines had sold well – notably chef’s knives and barware.  It seems we were all learning how to cook and make cocktails. 

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit