Members’ News

January 2023

Back to our ROOTS Relaunched range from Urban Eat. is plant-based perfection #

Leading UK Food to Go brand, Urban Eat., is reintroducing its plant-based range, Roots, with a fresh look and tantalising NPD to entice sandwich lovers everywhere.
Launching 9th January 2023 across OOH channels, Roots from Urban Eat. consists of two sandwiches: deliciously tangy Cheeze and Pickle with refreshing tomato and lettuce and super satisfying Falafel and Houmous, complete with vegan mayonnaise and crunchy salad. The brand’s hugely popular Tomato and Pesto wrap is also part of the range, along with a delicious new option – zingy and moreish Spicy Bean.
The range has been carefully designed after extensive research and development from the brand to offer high-quality, delicious plant-based options that appeal to a broad range of consumers.

Abigail Nelson-Ehoff, Brand Manager, Urban Eat. said: “Our research shows that 65% of people in the UK are reducing meat from their diets[1], but they’re not willing to compromise on taste and quality to do so. When designing the Roots proposition, we therefore knew we didn’t want to launch ‘just another vegan sandwich’ – it was important to us to create a lunchtime offering full of flavour and variety that appeals to a broader target audience than just those with a vegan diet. Resonating with flexible meat reducers as well as devoted meat excluders increases our audience by 50%, which in turn offers a bigger commercial opportunity for us and our customers.
“And we’re confident we’ve created a range of plant-based perfection which does just that! What’s more, with our striking new packaging, customers will be able to identify us easily in the chiller and understand what we offer – food that’s plant-based and big on taste
Launching to tie in with Veganuary, Urban Eat. will be supporting the Roots launch with sampling activities, retailer point of sale media and an extensive social media campaign.

Operators can stock up on Roots from Urban Eat. by contacting the Fresh Food For Now Company sales team on 0116 236 1640 or email Alternatively, submit a request via the Urban Eat. website:

Proactive recycling: energising the second-hand foodservice equipment market #

FEA urges operators to offload unused kitchen appliances

Demand for second-hand foodservice equipment has never been higher, says FEA (the Foodservice Equipment Association), yet millions of £s worth of commercial catering appliances are sitting idle or being scrapped and recycled.  That’s according to research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of a FEA member.  It found that nearly 70% of hospitality, entertainment and leisure businesses said they had good working catering equipment doing nothing because it was no longer needed. 

The research found that while 84% of hospitality managers didn’t want their unused appliances to be scrapped, over half (55%) admitted they had sent working equipment for scrapping during the past five years. 

In light of these findings FEA is urging foodservice operators and their equipment suppliers to take action so that unused equipment can be repurposed or reused to retain its value.  “Scrapping perfectly sound equipment is scandalous,” says Emma Brooks, vice chair of FEA and a passionate advocate of the Association’s sustainability initiatives.  “We need to energise the second-hand market through proactive recycling.  Reselling or repurposing  idle equipment so others can make use of it is not just the right, sustainable thing to do, it’s also a potential revenue stream for operators allowing them to buy better performing and more efficient equipment that will be cheaper to operate and run.   There is a growing market for quality, second-hand appliances.  FEA has members who will help foodservice operators rehome their unwanted equipment, making the process simple and, potentially, profitable. 

“And it means perfectly good equipment will be back where it belongs, working in the kitchen

Clearly, in the context of the current economic climate, energising the second-hand market has the potential to help both buyer and seller.  The buyer gains quality equipment at a lower price, while the seller releases tied-up capital that could otherwise go to waste. 

The campaign to energise the second-hand market for catering equipment ties in with FEA’s strategic sustainability initiatives on behalf of the industry, including the drive to maximise every commercial appliance’s serviceable life.  “The key is to invest in quality, and then to protect the investment through regular service, such as with a PPM (Planned Preventative Maintenance) contract,” says Brooks. 

In addition, the funds released by selling old equipment give operators the opportunity to invest in new, energy efficient models.  “Proactive recycling ties in directly with FEA’s Five Point Plan, to help the foodservice industry reach carbon next zero by 2050, as it can encourage businesses to invest in greener technology, for example the products featured on the Government’s Energy Technology List that is also cheaper to operate,” Brooks says.   

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 

Sodexo lands new £10m IFM contract with global banking firm due to its innovative offering #

Sodexo’s Corporate Services division, which empowers businesses to make full use of their workplace spaces, has won a five-year contract to provide integrated facilities management (IFM) for a renowned global bank’s London offices. 

The contract will see Sodexo deploy its forward-thinking and innovative Vital Spaces proposition, which aims to boost the employee experience and enhance productivity. 

As part of the £2 million-a-year contract, Sodexo will deliver a range of services that connect with employees and make their working environment as fulfilling and engaging as possible. These will include catering, hospitality, cleaning, reception and guest services, technical services and the management of the in-house gym. 

The catering and hospitality will be provided by The Good Eating Company, which has a simple philosophy of setting the definitive standard in workplace dining. It believes that fabulous and fresh food is the secret to a happy and dedicated workforce. Sodexo will work in partnership with the banking firm to create engaging spaces and menus, to deliver a relaxed and stylish dining experience that will become the heart of the workplace.    

 The in-house gym will be managed by Sodexo Health Works which will offer 1:1 fitness advice, run regular and pop-up exercise classes; coordinate running and walking clubs and provide sessions on health and wellbeing. 

Sodexo will also be introducing a Head of Workplace Experience as well as a Community & Engagement Manager, to help the bank embed its purpose to empower people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. 

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “This is an exciting win for us. The philosophy behind our Vital Spaces proposition is the perfect fit for this global banking giant, which like us is firmly focussed on people and the employee experience. Culture is of great importance to this firm and our people-centred approach suited their needs perfectly. We are working in true partnership with them to deliver a workplace experience that will allow their colleagues to thrive in a place they feel connected to and empowered by.” 

Sodexo’s Corporate Services business delivers workplace services, facilities management and food services to some of the world’s most recognisable brands. Its teams have expertise operating across a range of different environments in the corporate sector, including headquarters, regional offices, data centres, manufacturing centres and research and development hubs, in sectors as diverse as professional services, financial services, pharmaceuticals, media and technology. 

For more information on Sodexo’s Vital Spaces click here: 

Hospitality welcomes the launch of registration for HRC 2023 #

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC), the UK’s largest and most prestigious business event for the hospitality and foodservice sector, has opened visitor registration for its 2023 edition, taking place on 20-22 March at ExCeL London.    

Hospitality business owners and managers will have the opportunity to explore quality suppliers from across four distinct show areas – food & drink, professional catering equipment, hospitality tech, design & décor – providing everything needed to update and elevate their front- and back-of-house offering.  

The Pub Show @ HRC will return bigger and better for 2023, featuring an all-new partnership with the British Institute of Innkeeping, who will be offering drop-in sessions and presentations providing much needed and valuable expert advice as part of ‘Helpline Live’.  

Steve Alton, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), comments: “We are hugely looking forward to attending the show and meeting industry colleagues to share the BII’s passion for our vital and vibrant pubs.”  

HRC will once again be taking place alongside IFE, International Food & Drink Event and IFE Manufacturing, giving visitors the opportunity to discover thousands of innovative food & drink products and learn about the latest trends in food production, packaging and NPD.   

Plus, the show will be partnering with IFE to launch ‘Drinks @ HRC & IFE’, a single, central location for visitors to source drinks products from alcohol and low/no to soft drinks to hot beverages. 

Cumulatively, the co-located shows will welcome more than 25,000 leading industry buyers and over 1,500 innovative suppliers across a wide range of product categories.   

A new addition for 2023 is Chef HQ, curated by Chef Publishing: a networking hub and demo kitchen where leading chefs from the UK and Europe will be taking to the stage to demonstrate culinary tips and techniques, host deep dives into key dishes and cuisines, and discuss the latest trends and challenges affecting commercial kitchens in 2023 and beyond.   

Confirmed chefs for the stage include Andrew Wong of Restaurant A. Wong, Tom Phillips of Restaurant Story, Launceston Place Chef Patron Ben Murphy, and legendary pastry chef Frédéric Bau, with many more due to be announced in the weeks to come.   

Jonny Dillon, General Manager of The Great Shefford, comments: “HRC is a fantastic day to enjoy. The brilliance of meeting new suppliers, seeing new trends in the market, finding innovative new products, learning from the biggest and best in hospitality with shows and talks. I can see me and my team there every year.”  

An industry-leading seminar programme  

Visitors to HRC 2023 will have access to over 100 free-to-attend content sessions, discussions, demonstrations and more, covering some of the latest industry trends and topics and featuring leading figures from the worlds of foodservice and hospitality.   

The show’s Vision Stage, designed by Harp Design, will highlight trends and all-important issues impacting the hospitality and foodservice sectors, with must-attend sessions with dynamic industry leaders and an exclusive keynote with HRC’s 2023 Chef Ambassador Monica Galetti.  

Meanwhile, the Tech X Stage will be a focal point for everything hospitality tech, with discussions on how front- and back-of-house technology can increase profits, provide key insights and enable a more seamless experience for both employees and customers.   

Alongside the industry leading seminar programme, visitors to the show will have the opportunity to learn from key association partners and hospitality professionals with features like Ask the Expert from the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) and Helpline Live from the BII, a chance for pub, bar and hospitality business owners to meet with a range of industry experts and consultants to gain bespoke advice and solutions for their business.  

Keith Warren, Chief Executive of the FEA comments: “The FEA are delighted to be the official sponsor and to be partnering with HRC once again for 2023. All types of equipment have a critical role in ensuring effective foodservice delivery, the Professional Kitchen section is vitally important as the leading UK exhibition for the sector.”  

Celebrating talented chefs  

HRC will once again take place alongside historic chef competition International Salon Culinaire, which sees chefs putting their talents and knowledge to the test across a number of live and skills competitions across the three days of the event.   

Salon Chef Director Steve Munkley comments: “Next year’s event is set to be another fantastic edition of HRC and International Salon Culinaire, attracting everyone from the UK’s leading chefs to the next generation of culinary superstars. Live competition is a great way for chefs to challenge themselves, meet industry peers and stand out from the crowd and I can’t wait to see what this year’s competitors produce.”  

Alongside popular returning competitions like the Mystery Basket Grand Prix, the Alaska Seafood Masters competition, the Apprentice Challenge, the Stadia team event, and Salon’s mainstay pasta and cheese challenges, next year’s edition will see a new challenge for the Craft Guild of Chefs Team of the Year, in partnership with Waitrose & Partners, new official meat partner in the form of Alliance NZ, which will be bringing its prestigious Lumina Lamb Competition to the show, and a new online training competition for chef lecturers in partnership with The Grande Cuisine Academy.  

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) will return to ExCeL London on 20-22 March 2023 alongside IFE, International Food & Drink Event, IFE Manufacturing, The Pub Show @ HRC, and International Salon Culinaire. To learn more about everything happening at the event, and to register for your complimentary trade ticket, visit  

Veganuary to the Rescue: Operators lean on Healthier Eating trend to manage costs as inflation soars #

Since Spring/Summer 2022, restaurant, and pub & bar same-line dish* price inflation has increased to +7.9% and +7.2% respectively. Inflationary pressures alongside cost increases have forced operators to increase prices at a higher rate in 2022, and operators are capitalising on healthier eating and sustainability food trends to manage costs.
New year resolutions aside, health-consciousness  and a focus on sustainability were flagged as some of the sector’s mega trends by Lumina Intelligence’s Menu & Food Trends Report 2022. The trend aligns with much-needed cost management in menus and focusing on lighter and more meat-free dishes is allowing operators to handle annual price increases more effectively, as these measures facilitate smaller portions and the utilisation of less expensive ingredients, hence reducing food waste, and strengthening margins.
The result, as Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker indicates, is that the total proportion of dishes containing meat has fallen by -3ppts from 2019 to 2022. Vegan diets when eating out have increased +11% QoQ, which perhaps shouldn’t come so much as a surprise if we consider 66% of consumers state they are very sustainably conscious.
And while vegan diets don’t necessary imply calory scrutiny, healthier eating is also trending, and the average calorie count of a dish has fallen by -2.4% from May to October 2022, which is also contributing to managing the impact of compulsory calorie labelling on consumers and encouraging eating out missions.
Customisation** is another popular tool for both operators and consumers within this space, as it facilitates catering for dietary preferences. There has been a +20ppt increase in the share of dishes that are customisable from 2019 to 2022, and while variations of dishes do present operational challenges for operators, these challenges are being reflected in the price point: pub and bar customisable dishes are +28% more expensive than the average dish, and they continue to allow premiumisation.
Menu management, sustainability practices and digitalisation will be key to the recovery of the total eating out market, which is expected to add up to £101bn in 2025, following stability in inflation and recovery in consumer spending power. As of now, investment in sustainability is being prioritised by 80% of eating out businesses and will be centred around more efficient practises and waste management, while innovations in creating sustainable alternatives to staple ingredients will continue in 2023, shielding operators from cost fluctuations and capitalising on the aforementioned flexitarian trends. 

New Improved Low in Sugar recipe & longer shelf life for potato-powered plant-based Milk DUG #

DUG®, the world’s only potato-powered plant-based milk, is hitting supermarket shelves in January 2023 with a new, low in sugar, maltodextrin-free recipe with an even better taste and a longer shelf life.

DUG®’s new and improved recipe is set to attain new heights with its creamy yet neutral taste profile and cleaner label, with all but the most essential nutrients stripped out. With the maltodextrin removed it offers a more milk-like consistency and can be used just like any other milk  – poured onto cereal, mixed into smoothies, used for cooking or just enjoyed by the glass. 

DUG® also  foams up fabulously in coffee and adds creaminess to any hot drink, making it the ultimate sustainable choice for baristas and coffee or tea lovers. And thanks to its patented potato-based emulsion, it doesn't separate in hot drinks or when used in cooking and baking.

One of the hottest new food trends of 2022, Veg of Lund, the company behind DUG®, has listened to consumer feedback and refreshed the recipes of its Barista, Original (now both low in sugar) and Unsweetened varieties to make them even more appealing to those looking for an alternative to dairy.  And with a longer shelf life that benefits both retailers and consumers alike.

Low in saturated fat, DUG is fortified with Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid. And that’s not all.  DUG is free from the top 14 most common allergens, including lactose, milk, soy, gluten and nuts, making it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers and those with intolerances.

DUG is also planet friendly. That’s because potatoes don’t need much to grow at all, making them a super-sustainable crop, which is why DUG’s climate footprint is two-thirds lower than cow’s milk.  Growing potatoes is also twice as land efficient as growing oats and uses 98% less water than almonds.

This award-winning, delicious, vegan-friendly, plant-based potato drink has its roots in science and research.  It was developed by Professor Eva Tornberg at Lund University in Sweden whose company, Veg of Lund is on a mission to help more people follow a plant-based lifestyle, that will benefit their health and our planet’s future.  It is committed to environmental sustainability, minimising its climate footprint through efficient land use, low water consumption and low carbon emissions.

Graham Stonadge, UK sales director for Veg of Lund UK, the company behind DUG comments: “DUG caused a stir in the £335 million milk alternatives market in 2022 thanks to its unique potato-power.  It has given other plant-based milks including oat and almond milk a run for their money and ‘dared’ consumers to try something completely different from anything else available in the category.
“Their feedback has enabled us to revisit the DUG recipe in order to make it smoother, cleaner and more milk-like in consistency, whilst maintaining its neutral taste profile - which is one of the reasons consumers tell us they love it.  We’ve also been able to extend its shelf life, making it more appealing to retailers and consumers and helping to reduce wastage

It’s been a hugely successful first year for DUG and we strongly believe it has the credentials to be the ‘go-to’ brand for consumers who are moving away from dairy and who care enough about sustainability to seek the best alternatives, or who unfortunately suffer from intolerances to one of the top 14 allergens.”

UK sales of plant milks are growing at a rate of 16% year on year and the UK’s plant-based milk market is the third largest in value of all Western countries. More than a third (34%) of UK consumers now regularly purchase milk alternative products, with 11% opting solely for these alternatives. 31% of UK adults say they’d be willing to swap away from dairy.

DUG is available from, Waitrose & Partners, Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods Market, Amazon, Ocado, The Vegan Kind Supermarket and the Naturally Vegan Supermarket (1L £1.80).

Speed's Star Shines Bright as it's appointed by accreditation and raters leaders AA Media #

Impact-driven PR agency Speed has been appointed by AA Media to raise awareness of its AA accreditation, Rosette scheme and awards, promoting the benefits of the organisation’s knowledge and expertise, and to drive traffic to its travel platform.

AA Media has been assessing the quality and excellence of hotels since 1908, when its star ratings were first introduced. Now spanning places to stay, dine and visit, its professional and experienced inspectors and assessors visit every property rated, with all inspections remaining completely anonymous, enabling its ratings to represent an entirely independent view.

With over a hundred years's worth of experience, AA Media continues to bring its members the very best of Britain, with its maps, walking and travel guides setting the benchmark for British travel publishing.

Speed’s passion to make a difference coupled with the team’s energy, creativity and determination saw it win through in a competitive pitch process to provide support for AA Media’s press office team, develop concepts for regular thought leadership pieces, and craft ideas for, as well as stories linked to awards and ratings – to ensure a steady flow of quality content.

Following AA Media’s launch of a business support portal for its trade audience, Speed will continue to deliver ongoing consumer and B2B campaigns that creatively bring to life how the company sets the benchmark for industry standards in hospitality, is the trusted source for people to make informed decisions about their trips, and is the best-placed organisation to support and promote the sector through its ratings and awards.

Kelly Pepworth, Managing Director at Speed said:

The AA has a 100-year-old plus story inextricably linked with inspection schemes that denote quality of standards and excellence. With it made this expertise available to the wider public, providing a trusted, independent guide as well as supporting thousands of hospitality businesses across the UK. “This exciting win builds on our strength in the food and hospitality sector. The AA is a highly trusted and respected brand, and we believe there is a huge opportunity to creatively elevate the organisation and bring to life its ongoing dedication to highlighting and driving sustainability, accessibility and diversity within the industry.”

Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Media said:

We are delighted to be teaming up with Speed PR for 2023. We have been recognising and supporting UK hospitality for over 100 years and will proudly continue alongside Speed’s expertise and creativity.

Freemans Event Partners signs on the dotted line with Quorn Professionals #

Freemans Event Partners has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Quorn, the UK’s No. 1 meat-free brand.
This new partnership will see Quorn Professionals – the brand’s foodservice development arm – join forces with Freemans Event Partners to roll out new meat-free menus across Freemans Event Partners’ event, venue and concessionaire portfolios.
With more than 25 core foodservice products to put a twist on, the Quorn Professionals culinary team is collaborating with Freemans Event Partners to create delicious meals that pack a flavour punch and are better for the planet.
The companies will also collaborate with Freemans Event Partners brand activation division, to explore experiential and brand activation opportunities this year and beyond.
Stephen Freeman, Freemans Event Partners CEO explains: “Quorn is more than just a food brand, it is synonymous with the meat-free movement, and this is a very exciting partnership for us.
“Through this partnership with Quorn we can explore and develop new additions to our menus giving event goers a greater level of choice and variety. In doing so, we hope to meet some of our own aspirations as a business to reduce impact on the environment. This partnership really is a win for everyone
Aspirational meat reducers now make up 55% of the meat-free market*1 meaning meat-free eating is no longer a trend, it’s a consumer behaviour. Whether a customer is vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian they are demanding more delicious meat-free options are on menus.
This is evidenced in the latest statistics from Sodexo, the food service business, which show that during 2022 (January-November) 10% of all meals sold across its UK and Ireland client sites were vegetarian or vegan, compared to 8% during the same period in 2021.
It also comes at a pivotal time for the events industry. With sustainability high on the agenda, finding more sustainable options within supply chains will be key for operators who are serious about reducing their environmental impact.
Quorn has been pioneering meat-free since it launched its first product in 1985 with its unique super-protein. Quorn mycoprotein is at the heart of all Quorn products and uses 95% less land, water and carbon emissions than equivalent beef products*2. By 2030, the trailblazing brand’s goal is be become a net positive business and provide 8 billion meals a year; one for every person on the planet.
Freemans Event Partners is a leading event solutions provider and supports over 400 of the UK and Europe’s largest and most prestigious events and venues. From the likes of Silverstone, Lord’s Cricket Ground, to Burghley Horse Trials and the BMW PGA Championship. Freemans Event Partners deploys over 2,500 concessions outlets at these events and venues, with Silverstone alone featuring over 250 concessionaires. 
Freemans Event Partners also boasts a strong track record in brand activation, with partnerships with global household brand names such as Diageo, Red Bull and Coca-Cola, reaching 15,000,000 people at events each year.
Phil Thornborrow, Foodservice Director Quorn adds: “We have a clear vision at Quorn, to tackle climate change by serving great tasting food. To do that, making Quorn accessible to all, in or out of the home, is really important to us. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to work with Freemans Event Partners.
“Working with a leading name like Freemans Event Partners will put the Quorn brand directly in front of millions of consumers each year, at some of the most renowned and illustrious events and venues here in the UK and further afield

Bidcorp UK acquires Harvest Fine Foods #

Bidcorp UK has announced the acquisition of Harvest Fine Foods, an independently run foodservice supplier to more than 1,000 catering establishments  across the South of England, including Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Surrey and the Isle of Wight,.

The business, which opened its doors in 1988, offers an impressive range of 4,500 products including fresh and chilled produce and store cupboard ingredients from over 40 local suppliers.

Andrew Selley, CEO of Bidcorp UK commented: “We are delighted to welcome the Harvest Fine Foods team into the Bidcorp Family where it will join the Caterfood Buying Group, our growing network of independent businesses including Nichol Hughes, Elite Fine Foods, Caterfood, South Lincs Foodservice and Cimandis.

“Harvest Fine Foods is already a thriving foodservice supplier, achieving a compound growth of 20% over the last 12 years. It will continue operating as an autonomous and independent business, in line with the decentralised model we already successfully employ within the Caterfood Buying Group.

“We have been really impressed by their passion, their ethical ethos and their reputation for providing ethically-sourced, fantastic local produce, as well as great service to their customers. We look forward to supporting the team with our financial and strategic strength alongside their local expertise and range

Richard Strongman, Managing Director at Harvest Fine Foods added: “We are looking forward to becoming part of the Bidcorp family, which shares our passion for quality products, competitive prices and unrivalled service. The team will continue to focus on the development and growth of our successful, service-led business, under the same identity and culture.”   

Harvest Fine Foods will begin operating under Catering Buying Group as of 17th January 2023.

Medirest and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust continue partnership for further five years #

Medirest, part of the healthcare sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is to continue its partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust for a further five years. The contract extension has been agreed based on Medirest’s consistent high level of service delivery, expertise and innovations across 52 sites, which span from the New Forest to Portsmouth, Petersfield and Alton.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provides community health, mental health and learning disability services across Hampshire. It is one of the largest providers of such specialist services in England.
Medirest will continue to provide support services such as cleaning and portering – delivered by a 280 strong team. Investment has been committed as part of the new contract, with innovations including a cleaning robot, which enhances repetitive cleaning procedures in open spaces; an upgraded auditing system for cleaning that aligns with the 2021 National Cleaning Standards; frictionless facilities management technology linked to integrated workforce management solutions; implementation of a new laundry system for cleaning cloths and mop heads; and new iMops, which use fast brush rotations, that leave surfaces cleaner than other traditional methods.
Medirest will be introducing a digital time, attendance and scheduling system to support colleagues working on site. The team will also be improving the HSE oversight across the extensive geographical estate. 
The Positive Impressions programme, which underpins Healthcare’s purpose of “Performance with Heart”, focusing on patient satisfaction will also be rolled out over the coming months, with colleagues receiving the relevant training and sessions. Positive Impressions is designed to measure the patient experience and enhance patient-centred training, to help deliver care based on communication, awareness, respect and empathy.
Russell Blake, MD - Healthcare, Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “The best patient experience is fundamental to the continued success of the Trust and we never underestimate the role we play in achieving this goal. This new contract builds on our existing six-year partnership, which has seen patient satisfaction levels consistently high. We will now bring in new innovations, to further progress and enhance service delivery for the future. We’re excited by this opportunity to take the partnership to the next level and to continue our journey of continuous improvement.”
Heather Mitchell, Director of Strategy and Infrastructure Transformation, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “We are pleased to announce the extension of a further five years to our current contract with Medirest. During this period we are looking to trial and introduce a range of exciting new ways of working including robotic cleaners, new technology to manage the contract and improved cleaning materials.  
“Medirest has been instrumental in assisting the Trust to achieve the new National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021. On the strength of this introduction we are looking to achieve Exemplar Status in cleanliness from NHS England in 2023. We look forward to continuing to work with all the staff from Medirest who work so well alongside our own staff and are an integral part of the Southern Health team
Medirest received the “Innovation” and “Sustainability” Awards at this year’s Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professional Awards. The team also won the “Staff Engagement & Improving Staff Experience & Medical Education for Healthcare Professionals” title at the recent Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA), for its Positive Impressions programme.

Sodexo’s Head of DE&I shortlisted in Burberry Diversity Awards #

Raj Jones, head of DE&I for Sodexo UK & Ireland and speaker at Arena's Diversity & Inclusion event last year, has this week been announced as a finalist in the head of diversity of the year category of the prestigious Burberry Diversity Awards 2023. 

The awards celebrate leading diversity and inclusion champions, recognising achievements over the past year across ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and religious beliefs. 

As Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) for Sodexo, Raj has responsibility for the strategic direction and implementation of the UK and Ireland’s DE&I initiatives.  

Commenting on the news Raj said: “Being nominated, let alone shortlisted for these prestigious awards, is a huge honour. That being said, it is important to note that no one individual can be credited for the success of a DE&I strategy – particularly one that involves creating an inclusive workplace where 30,000 plus colleagues are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. So, I’d like to thank colleagues from across the business who continue to champion DE&I and work passionately and tirelessly to keep it on the agenda.” 

I work with a very supportive leadership team at Sodexo and together we are committed to doing all we can to support every single colleague so they can thrive and establish a successful and rewarding career with us.” 

Sodexo is committed to providing all employees with the best possible work life experience regardless of age, gender, nationality, culture or personal characteristics, and strives to build a diverse and inclusive culture where its people feel valued and respected as individuals. 

Mark Goodyer, HR Director for Sodexo UK & Ireland adds: “Diversity, equity, and inclusion is embedded at the heart of our business strategy and driven throughout the organisation, from the boardroom to our colleagues, who deliver services to our customers every day. DE&I is at the core of our EVP, ensuring that our colleagues feel they belong to a team and a company that allows them to act with purpose and thrive in their own way. 

“Raj is a trusted and critical advisor, continually pushing for positive change both internally and externally, and for social good. She is a progressive leader who holds both myself and Sodexo accountable for making positive change.  We are proud to see her recognised as a finalist at these awards.

With nominations across 19 categories, the 2023 Burberry British Diversity Awards has established itself as a powerful voice for diversity and inclusion, with this year’s awards recognising the positive impact of marketing, campaigning, media diversity and social mobility representation across the UK.  

Other finalists including Virgin Atlantic, NatWest and HSBC UK as well as celebrity finalists Alison Hammond, Alan Carr and Stormzy who are shortlisted for the Greene King Media Champion in the Public Eye category. 

Linda Riley, founder of the Burberry British Diversity Awards, added: “We are incredibly proud to once again be recognising and celebrating those organisations, companies and individuals who consistently work to advocate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion.  

“In these particularly difficult economic times it is encouraging to see that so many businesses and organisations continue to put diversity and Inclusion in the front and centre of their strategic plans. I’m especially pleased to see an increasing number of organisations doing more to support wellbeing and social mobility.  

“Over the past year our nominees have realised great achievements, championing diversity of race, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, religious belief or social mobility. 

“Our awards ceremony allows us to bring together these inspirational and incredible people and truly celebrate their accomplishments

Read Raj’s blog on how a feeling of belonging can make a material difference, both to individual well-being and the business bottom line.

Bidfood strengthens its estate with two new depot openings #

One of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, Bidfood, is set to open the doors to two brand new depots in 2023 as part of a wider plan to strengthen its current 24-strong depot network, offering customers a truly local service.

The first of the new sites will be based in Glasgow, covering the West of Scotland, and is set to open in early spring of 2023. The 90,000 sq. ft site will open as part of Bidfood Scotland’s initiative to expand the business’s local depot network, supporting continued growth, whilst helping meet the increasing demand from both existing and new customers.

Aiming to commence trading in autumn 2023, Bidfood will also be opening a site in Bedfordshire in order to strengthen its service across the South East of England, and will become one of the company’s largest site to date, boasting 160,000 sq. ft.

Both Glasgow and Bedfordshire have been designed with the latest state-of-the-art systems, technology and fittings to support Bidfood in reducing its carbon footprint as well as continuing to work towards its target of greener depots.
Mark Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Bidfood said, “This is a really exciting time for the business, as we continue to grow our infrastructure to strengthen our support for customers.

Both sites will enable us to operate from a high quality and modern facility which will alleviate pressure on existing depots in Scotland and the South East, as well as serve the communities in which they operate by providing jobs to local people.”

A third additional depot in the Midlands has also been commissioned, however, this will not be active until 2024.