Members’ News

June 2023

Sodexo Live! win big at Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards 2023 #

Sodexo Live! received 11 accolades at 2023 Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards with Newcastle United FC taking home the big award of the night - overall matchday hospitality champions - plus three other wins. 

The event (organised by Stadium Experience) recognises the efforts and dedication shown by the catering, conference and events teams at every football, rugby and cricket stadium across the UK.  Each award category is independently judged. 

Newcastle United FC took home the most wins:

Non-Matchday Mystery Shopper 
Best Stadium Events Venue 
Matchday Hospitality Award – Large Stadium 
Overall Matchday Hospitality  

The Newcastle team also saw its head of operations, Chris Reed, receive silver in the Outstanding Contribution category and the team awarded bronze in Operations Team of the Year category. 

Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club, who play at Headingley Stadium, was also triumphant, winning the Matchday Hospitality award (Medium Stadiums) and also bronze in the Visiting Rugby Directors award category. 

Other accolades included:

Silver for Everton FC in the Matchday Hospitality award (Medium Stadium) category
Silver for Hampden Park in the Matchday Sales Team of the Year award 
Bronze for Headingley Stadium in the non-Matchday Sales Team of the Year category 

Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO UK & Ireland at Sodexo Live! added: “This is the second consecutive year that we've come home with the big award of the night which is testament to the skill, passion & energy that the Sodexo Live! teams put into delivering first-rate hospitality across our portfolio. Massive congrats and kudos to the team at Newcastle United FC. 

“Our teams across England and Scotland are experience makers and this recognition is so well-deserved as every day they go that extra mile to ensure our customers and corporate clients have the most memorable experiences, whether partaking in a live show, sporting event or culinary experience

“It is our ambition that our people feel they belong to a team that feels like a family, to act with purpose and to be inclusive, for each and everyone to thrive in their career, and to be live in the moment creating exceptional memories. I am proud of their achievements every day. Huge congratulations to all.

M&S Café awarded animal welfare honour by ethical food label, RSPCA Assured #

RSPCA Assured has awarded M&S Café with a special award to honour their commitment to animal welfare in their 330 cafes. The annual Footprint Awards, which shine a spotlight on the foodservice industry and recognises leading sustainability practices, was held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London recently.

RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA’s ethical food label and farm assurance scheme, sponsored the Higher Animal Welfare in Foodservice Award which went to worthy winners M&S Café.

Cliona Duffy, Head of Corporate Partnerships at RSPCA Assured, said: “M&S Café is truly leading the way for farm animal welfare. They are the only cafe group in the UK to use 100% RSPCA Assured milk which means the dairy cows have been cared for to the RSPCA’s strict higher welfare standards. They also use 100% free-range eggs and free-range or organic pork in their recipes showing just how important farm animal welfare is to M&S.

“From the passionate dairy farmers, to the shops and cafes on our High Street, M&S is a trailblazer for farm animal welfare and so we wanted to give them this award to recognise their efforts

As well as using RSPCA Assured milk in all of their 330 cafes, they are also the only retailer to sell 100% RSPCA Assured milk in their stores, and have more RSPCA Assured products on offer than any other retailer.

Sharry Cramond, Marketing Director and Director of Hospitality, at M&S, said: “I am delighted that Marks & Spencer Café has won the Footprint Awards for Higher Animal Welfare last night, awarded to us by the RSPCA Assured. The Footprint Awards are the barometer for environmental sustainability and responsible business practice in the hospitality and food-to-go industry.  One of the things I love most about working for M&S is our leadership in farm animal welfare sourcing, this is something that is incredibly important to us and to our customers who have come to expect this from M&S.

“It's in the DNA of how we do business and our colleagues go to great lengths to work with the best farmers – those who are dedicated to quality, and who take good care of their animals. We are not just any Café… we are M&S Café.

M&S milk comes from farms certified by RSPCA Assured and dairy cows cared for to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards. There are 300 welfare standards covering the entire life of a dairy cow with cow and calf health and comfort at their heart. This means ensuring cows are given access to pasture during the grazing season, they are also given plenty of space and environmental enrichment such as cow brushes so they can groom themselves.

In addition to M&S’ animal welfare commitments, M&S’ wider range of sustainability commitments include 100% Fairtrade tea and coffee.  All coffee in M&S Café has been Fairtrade since 2004 and in 2006 they became the first retailer to convert all their tea and coffee across both Café and Foodhall to Fairtrade.  

They contribute more Fairtrade Premium for tea and coffee than any other UK retailer – almost £1.6m in 2022. M&S has now gone even further with our “A Cup of Ambition™” initiative, which donates 1p per cup of tea or coffee sold in Café to support tea and coffee producers in some of the most vulnerable communities.For more information on RSPCA Assured visit:  

Compass introduces urban farm to its headquarters #

Vertical farming has arrived at Compass Group UK & Ireland’s headquarters – Compass House, Chertsey. The UK’s largest food and support services provider has partnered with Square Mile Farms, to introduce an urban farm, bringing ultra-fresh sustainable produce to its chefs and Compass colleagues on site, further supporting its use of innovation to achieve climate net zero by 2030.

Using a clever hydroponic system, a small pump circulates nutrient rich water from a tank to each column of plants. The water trickles down, feeding the plants at their roots. The high-efficiency LED lights help the plants to grow indoors, all year round. The new farm at Chertsey HQ will be used by its chefs, who have asked initially to grow, Kale, Coriander, Tatsoi. In a month’s time – the farm will be harvested, and the chefs will use the products in their menus. Additionally, Compass colleagues will be invited to take home any leftover produce. Harvests will then take place every two weeks from then on.
By growing vertically, the farm can use a bigger surface area, allowing the urban space to be put to good use, growing up to 189 edible plants, all year round. The hydroponic systems use 90% less water than some conventional growing methods and of course there are no food miles. The seedlings are farmed from Square Mile Farms’ rooftop farm in Paddington, London.
Commenting on bringing Square Mile Farms to Compass House, Pete Champain, Head of Innovation, Compass Group UK & Ireland said:

We are delighted to be working with Square Mile Farms. Bringing urban farms to Chertsey, enables us to practice what we preach. By using this innovative and sustainable growing system, we can grow our own fresh produce on site. Our chefs are looking forward to the first harvest and it’s a great way of generating important conversations with our teams about sustainable food.” 
Patrick Dumas, Co-founder, Square Mile Farms added:

"Our mission is to empower people to make healthier and more sustainable food choices. It’s therefore a privilege to work with Compass Group, and their head office team, whose values around food align so closely with ours. We’re collaborating to truly get the team closer to their food - we can’t wait for the first harvest!"


Elior UK raises £90,000 for Water Unite and explores impact of donations on pioneering initiatives in Kenya #

Leading caterer, Elior UK, has raised £90,000 for Water Unite to help fund progressive initiatives in Kenya. Charlotte Wright, Elior UK's Director of CSR, and Andy Grant, Elior UK’s Communications Manager, visited Kenya to witness first-hand the remarkable work being done by four social enterprises benefiting from its contributions.

Elior UK makes a donation to Water Unite for every bottle of water sold at each of its sites, and has raised £90,000 which has been instrumental in supporting water sanitation and recycling projects in developing countries.

During their visit, Charlotte Wright, Andy Grant, and Louis Goring-Morris, Partnerships Director for Water Unite, had the privilege of meeting with four social enterprises that have been positively affected by Elior's donations.

The four social enterprises included Gjenge Makers, a socially conscious enterprise dedicated to transforming plastic waste into affordable and sustainable building materials – addressing both environmental and social challenges. In addition to, Mr Green Trading Africa Kenya Ltd (Mr Green Africa), a social enterprise focused on ethically collecting and recycling plastic waste to reduce the amount of waste that pollutes the environment and ends up in landfills. Through job creation and training programmes for waste collectors, Mr Green Africa empowers individuals to improve their livelihoods while making a positive impact on the planet.

The Elior and Water unite team also visited Jibu Kenya, a leading innovator in the distribution of clean drinking water. Jibu Kenya is committed to providing affordable access to clean water in underserved communities. By leveraging a franchise model, Jibu Kenya establishes a network of locally owned and operated water kiosks, facilitating sustainable solutions to address the water crisis.

The fourth social enterprise visit during the trip was to Sanivation. Sanivation is a pioneering organisation in the field of sanitation. Sanivation provides clean and affordable sanitation solutions to low-income communities. Utilising innovative technology, Sanivation transforms human waste into clean-burning fuel, which can be used for cooking and heating. By addressing the issue of untreated waste, as currently 90% of waste in Kenya goes into the environment without being treated, Sanivation contributes to a healthier environment.

Charlotte Wright, Director of CSR for Elior UK, said: “It was amazing to visit these inspiring social enterprises and to see the remarkable and innovative work they are doing. It was great to see that our partnership with Water Unite provides financial support to help these social enterprises grow and to witness the positive impact our donations are making.”

Louis Goring-Morris, Partnerships Director at Water Unite, said "We're incredibly proud of our partnerships with Elior. The fantastic contributions made by Elior colleagues and customers have enabled entrepreneurs across Africa and Asia to grow scaling solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges"

Elior UK is committed to making a difference by fostering sustainable practices, supporting local communities, and driving positive change. Through continued collaboration with Water Unite and other impactful partnerships, Elior UK will continue to further its commitment to global sustainability and social responsibility.

Sodexo showcases positive social impact in new report ​ #

Sodexo has today published its 2023 Social Impact Report, which highlights progress and outcomes delivered against the commitments laid out in its Social Impact Pledge. Each of these commitments were pledged in 2021, as part of a three-year social value strategy to deliver real change which improves quality of life for Sodexo’s people and in the communities where they live and work.  

The report, published annually, provides a comprehensive overview of how Sodexo is making a positive difference across the UK and Ireland. It provides compelling data and real-life examples of what social impact the company has delivered and where it’s relevant and proportionate to do so, how much Social Return on Investment (SROI) it has created for communities using the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) framework where applicable.  

Sodexo's Social Impact Pledge serves as an ethical manifesto, encompassing carefully selected commitments that aim to foster a healthier, greener, safer, and more prosperous society. These commitments are strategically mapped across four impact pathways crucial to Sodexo's business: our People, Planet, Places, and Partners. By focusing on these areas, Sodexo strives to create significant social value and make a positive difference in the communities where it operates.  

The 2023 Social Impact Report highlights several key achievements across each of the four impact pathways, including:  


A comprehensive apprenticeship programme, with circa 900 apprentices currently working across the UK and Ireland.  

While Sodexo is a Ban the Box organisation, certain roles require disclosure. In 2021 and 2022, 82% of job applicants with positive Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications successfully secured employment.   


Sodexo has accelerated its ambition to achieve net zero across its value chain by 2040, five years ahead of the previously set target.   


Over 4,000 hours of volunteering have been provided in the community through the Sodexo volunteering programme over the last year.   


Sodexo remains committed to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 57% of its overall spend in the UK and Ireland being directed towards SME and VCSE suppliers.  

In 2022, Sodexo colleagues recorded 800 hours of skills-based volunteering for PILOTLIGHT, a charity that amplifies the impact charities, business and individuals can bring to make a better world.  

Commenting on the report, Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: "When we launched our most recent Pledge, we vowed to be transparent about how we were performing against the commitments we made. In this report, we do just that – focused on understanding the difference we are making for individuals and across wider communities.    

"We are, however, not complacent – we recognise there is always more we can do. But we know that to be truly purpose-led, any organisation is limited on how much they can achieve in isolation. As such, we are extremely proud of the ecosystem we continue to build with our clients, suppliers, government and the many charities and third sector organisations who collectively support us in driving the positive impact that improves quality of life.    

“We are immensely grateful to our colleagues who through their everyday work delivering excellent services, are also able to deliver social impact and encourage others to do so too.    

“We know all businesses have a direct responsibility to positively contribute to society and improve the communities where they operate, we take this seriously and will continue to ensure this is embedded in all that we do.

Rt. Hon Justine Greening, Former Secretary of State for Education & Chair of the Purpose Coalition, added: “As a leading member of the Purpose Coalition, Sodexo doesn’t just talk the social mobility talk, it walks the walk. The Sodexo Levelling Up Impact Report published last year showcased its ambitious and wide-ranging approach and highlighted some of the ways it could go even further, building on its fantastic Social Impact Pledge. 

“Crucially, it has gone a step further and published an update on that purpose-led work for 2023. Its willingness to measure it progress means that it can target its work more effectively to where it will make the most difference. The Social Impact Report shows that it is continuing to create opportunities for its colleagues, its customers and its communities

Sodexo’s commitment to social impact spans several years, with the 2021 launch of its Social Value Pledge marking its fourth iteration. First published in 2015, the business has faithfully reported on its progress against the pledges each year, demonstrating with evidence and examples the positive impact it is creating. 

Sustainability still a priority for cash-strapped Brits when eating out #

Better sustainability credentials and communication could hold the key for hospitality operators to tap into an audience of more than 37 million eco-conscious Brits, according to a report from leading food service technology provider, Nutritics, and hospitality data and insights consultancy CGA by NIQ.  
The report, Sustainability Matters: What consumers want and how brands can win, surveyed 5,000 UK hospitality consumers and found that despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, sustainability remains a key priority for UK consumers when eating out.

70% of Brits are now actively trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and over a third (34%) of UK pub and restaurant goers are prepared to spend more than usual in venues with strong sustainability credentials. Consumers in the 18-34 age group are nearly twice as likely to pay more for sustainability than those aged 55+, and with women, frequent hospitality visitors and Londoners all over-indexing for engagement, there should be significant rewards for hospitality operators who put sustainability at the heart of their business. Furthermore, only 23% of UK consumers are now saying that sustainability is currently unimportant in their choice of venues, showing that sustainability matters to the vast majority of diners.

However, consumers want better communication, demanding more guidance from the pubs, bars, cafés, and restaurants they visit to enable them to make more environmentally friendly choices[1], and the research shows that existing green credentials aren’t cutting through[2]. With nearly half of consumers (47%) saying they want more information about carbon footprints on menus, and 41% saying it would influence their order, educating consumers about the environmental impact of their meals appears to be one way that brands can drive sales, and demonstrate transparency, establish trust, and build advocacy in the process.

Stephen Nolan, CEO of Nutritics, said: "The climate crisis has focused consumers’ minds on environmental impact — not just their own, but they also want to see hospitality playing its part in reducing its environmental impact.

"Operators who seize the opportunity to capitalise on this demand, through better customer communication of credible initiatives, will profit from an ever-increasing competitive advantage. The operators who invest in understanding which sustainability initiatives make customers tick will drive loyalty and spend and effectively build not just environmentally sustainable brands but economically sustainable businesses
The report also identified which hospitality brands have the most eco-conscious consumers. Customers of Bella Italia are the most eco-conscious, with 79% saying they try to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle, with McDonald’s customers the least likely (68%).

Sustainability matters most to casual dining customers; people who visit restaurants like YO! Sushi, PizzaExpress, Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s are more likely to think about sustainability when they choose a venue, and more likely to be influenced by carbon footprint information, suggesting that these brands have a significant opportunity to engage and retain consumers if they can find a way to communicate their environmental credentials on menus.

Driven by their own general views, customers of JD Wetherspoon (35%) Greggs (36%) and McDonald’s (37%) were the least likely to consider sustainability when choosing where to eat or drink. However, not all sustainability initiatives are wasted on fast-food lovers and pub-goers.

Wetherspoons and Greggs customers both over-indexed on engagement with recyclable materials and locally sourced products, while McDonald’s customers are more likely to be influenced by a venue’s sustainability credentials than the average UK consumer. Tellingly, customers of two QSR brands which have made significant strides on sustainability and purpose in recent years, Burger King and KFC, over-indexed in a number of areas, including leading an environmentally friendly lifestyle, and the importance of both sustainability, and a venue’s environmental credentials, when choosing where to eat or drink, suggesting that the two fast food giants have taken their consumers on a journey and succeeded in engaging with them on these important issues.  

Karl Chessell, Director, Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA at CGA, added: “Despite the fallout from the COVID pandemic and cost-of-living pressures, the message is clear – consumers still care about sustainability and want to be equipped to be able to make informed choices.
“But it’s important to focus on the positives in sustainability. Pubs, bars and restaurants that show good practice can improve brand trust and increase guest spend. Good sustainability practice isn’t just the ethical thing to do, it’s commercially valuable too

Sustainability Matters: What consumers want and how brands can win, will be available to download in June. Alongside the consumer findings, the report will also include a look into the attitudes towards sustainability of hospitality sector workers, delivering an exclusive and holistic analysis of the issue across the hospitality sector. These findings will be released soon.

Latest MealTrak Results – 12 w/e 15 May 2023 (wave 114) #

Wholesale experts TWC Group, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, reports the latest food-to-go market performance to 12 w/e 15 May 2023.
Latest results are as follows:

Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were in line with the comparable period in 2022, on a 52 week/MAT basis.
In the latest 12 weeks, the number of out-of-home eating occasions grew by +4% vs. the equivalent period in 2022.

In the last 12 weeks, occasions in the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) grew by +7% vs. the previous year. Pubs continue to outperform the other sub-channels (+25%), ahead of hotels (+14%) and restaurants (-8%).

Total food to go occasions grew by +4% in the latest 12 weeks. This was driven by the discounters (+27%), the multiples (+10%), independent convenience stores (+10%), high street (+7%) and fast food & takeaways (+6%).
Meanwhile, forecourts (-13%), transportation sites (-8%), sandwich shops and specialists (-4%) and coffee shops and cafés (-1%) were all in decline, and workplace was static.

Value sales increased +7% on a 52 week/MAT basis; and +9% on a 12-week ending basis versus 2022. 

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
It is really encouraging to see out of home eating occasions back in growth this period, not just in value but also in terms of the number of occasions, which were up +4% in the latest 12 weeks (vs. year ago). Encouragingly, independent convenience stores are one of the star performers in the latest data, with 12 week ending growth of +10%, which is in line with the multiples, who have been outperforming the market for some time.”
The winning missions continue to be ‘something quick and easy’ and ‘regular favourite’, suggesting consumers want ease and are not willing to take risks (‘something different’ remains in strong decline). Meanwhile, ‘something inexpensive’ remains in year-on-year growth but is not driving the market to the extent it was a few months ago. A shift away from the sector being entirely value driven can only be a good thing for suppliers and operators and aligns with the gradual improvement in consumer confidence (as reported by GFK).” 
Mealtrak is a vast data source so if you would like to know more of the detail behind these headlines, please contact Tom Fender at TWC ( for more information. 
MealTrak is the nation’s leading continuous tracking programme for food-to-go and out-of-home consumption, surveying 36,500 consumers a year.
TWC are data and digital experts, working across the wholesale, foodservice and convenience retail channels with data led solutions.


jellybean Takes to the Sky Raising over £2,000 for DEBRA UK #

Leading food and drink agency jellybean has raised over £2,000 for DEBRA UK.
Intrepid ‘beans’ Abi Fraser and Liv Martin bravely participated in a thrilling ‘Flight to Fight EB’ wing-walk at Headcorn Airfield (Sun 11th June), which saw the volunteers amount a plane and soar at speeds of 120mph through the sky to raise money for this great cause.

DEBRA UK helps people living with the rare, and extremely painful, genetic skin blistering condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) also known as ‘Butterfly Skin’ with essential patient support. Smashing their fundraising goal, the jellybean duo have so far raised an incredible £2,100 in support of the pioneering charity’s £5m ‘A Life Free of Pain’ appeal, with donations still open!
Speaking about jellybean’s latest fundraising effort, Fiona Rickard Founder & CEO of jellybean and long-time supporter of the DEBRA UK charity said;

I couldn't be prouder of our incredible team at jellybean. For over a decade, we have stood by DEBRA UK, supporting their vital work in raising awareness and providing life-changing treatment to those enduring the pain of EB. Today, I am especially proud of Abi and Liv, whose bravery has inspired us all. Together, they have raised an astounding £2,100, a testament to their compassion and the generous spirit of our team. With the support of our food and drink network, I hope we can raise even more money and help make a positive impact on the lives of the brave-hearted individuals living with EB.”
If you’d like to donate to jellybean’s JustGiving page and help raise more money for DEBRA UK please visit
Speaking about her experience, Liv Martin, Senior Account Executive at jellybean said,

Abi and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for helping us beat our fundraising target of £2,000. It was an incredible opportunity to raise money for a fantastic cause, and a once in a lifetime experience we’ll never forget. Thank you to the jellybean team, as well as our friends and family who came to cheer us on from the ground. We appreciated the support so much!
DEBRA UK is a national charity that is advocating to stop the pain of EB. This year they launched ‘A Life Free of Pain’ appeal that aims to raise £5m by the end of 2023 and will help to fund the life changing treatments to enable those with EB to live a life free of pain. In addition to their valiant fundraising efforts, DEBRA UK has also set out to raise awareness of this relatively unknown and indiscriminate skin disorder. In the latest YouGov study, only 7% of the UK population were aware of Epidermolysis Bullosa/EB and only 15% aware of DEBRA. 
To learn more about DEBRA UK visit

Omne Selected as Strong Roots' Foodservice Marketing Agency Partner #

Following a decade-long partnership successfully building the McCain Foodservice Solutions business, McCain has given Omne the task to launch the Strong Roots brand into the foodservice and hospitality sector.

Strong Roots is one of the fastest-growing food brands, establishing a loyal customer base across Europe and the US. It’s focused on high-quality, nutritious plant-based frozen food products with a mission is to inspire people to eat more vegetables and create positive change through sustainable practices.

For foodservice, Strong Roots is looking to bring real excitement to menus with its ‘veg-first’ approach but, to ensure that the brand goes to market with exciting and relevant menu ideas, Omne has brought menu and hospitality experts Egg Soldiers into the mix.

The agency has worked with Egg Soldiers on several culinary projects for clients over the last few years and the team will support by creating on-trend, and profitable menu solutions using the Strong Roots range that will help operators get the products quickly onto menus.

Mark Hodge, Marketing Director of McCain said, “With McCain’s recent investment in Strong Roots it made perfect sense to give Omne the challenge to launch an exciting new brand into the foodservice and hospitality market given their track record of success, knowledge of the market and desire to be creative and do things differently.”

Michael Gividen, CEO of Omne, expressed the agency's excitement about the launch, stating, "We are thrilled to be working with Strong Roots to help establish the brand in the foodservice and hospitality sectors. It's one of those rare occasions where we get to collaborate with clients starting from a blank sheet of paper, determining the brand's focus and how it will add value to operators' menus."

For further information, please contact:

Sodexo Energy & Resources welcomes Tony Brady to leadership team #

Tony has global experience across the Oil & Gas and Energy Transition Supply Chain and joins Sodexo from ASCO Group. His career has seen Tony set up and run offshore supply bases in Rio De Janeiro and on the Amazon River in the City of Belem, as well as running an offshore supply base for bp at Galeota Point in Trinidad. 

Tony will join the senior leadership team for Sodexo Energy & Resources UK and Ireland, in his role Tony will support the delivery of the company’s regional strategy to provide value added solutions for its current and existing clients. 

Ed Morrow, MD Energy & Resources, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to welcome Tony to our team. We have some exciting plans in development which will help our existing and future clients in their challenge to create a positive lived experience for their onshore and their offshore workforce. Tony’s experience in the sector is invaluable as it is an industry like no other, delivering services in often extreme and challenging conditions with the health, safety and wellbeing of all a key priority for us and for our clients.” 

Sodexo’s energy and resources business delivers catering, hospitality, welfare, facilities management services, property management and refurbishments services to over 40 onshore energy and offshore & marine client sites throughout the UK.  

It is committed to supporting the wellbeing and meeting the evolving needs of employees working in often isolated and complex environments such as an offshore platform in the North Sea or an onshore LNG plant. 

From corporate offices to industrial sites, Sodexo delivers catering, hospitality, welfare, facilities management services, property management and refurbishments.

FREE Trade Agreement brings exciting opportunities for New Zealand Beef into the UK Foodservice Market #

New Zealand’s only 100% farmer owned red meat co-operative, with over 5,000 farmer shareholders, has spoken out on the UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which came into force Wednesday 31st May 2023.
Under the FTA, the UK – which is New Zealand’s seventh largest trading partner - will remove tariffs on 97% of imported products and stage the removal of tariffs on beef and sheep meat imports, with no duties at all from the 16th year (2038).
The Alliance Group is one of the largest exporters of red meat from New Zealand, producing free range and grass-fed beef, lamb and venison on their family farms. As a supplier to the UK foodservice and hospitality sector, the Alliance welcomes the FTA and sees it as an opportunity for high-quality New Zealand and British red meat products to sit side-by-side. Grass-fed New Zealand beef can offer the foodservice sector a point of difference on menus, as well as guaranteed consistency and quality.
Helen Scott, Regional General Manager at the Alliance Group, says: “The FTA is a significant step forward in opening the door for New Zealand farmers and provides an opportunity to grow, invest and diversify. Early figures show that UK imports from New Zealand are projected to grow by £1billion.”
Red meat is popular in the UK, with the beef and veal category spend worth £2.37billion. Helen Scott continues: “Red meat is a growth market and the foodservice and hospitality sector is looking for consistency in product quality, authentic and precise butchery cuts to ensure uniformity across multi-site operators, and world class food safety measures on farm and production - all key areas that we prioritise.
“The quality of our products perfectly aligns and complements the UK, which is renowned for its high quality and sustainable British foods. In fact, in a first for New Zealand, the FTA includes a chapter that recognises the high priority that we afford animal welfare in farming practices and acknowledges the comparability of both countries’ high standards in this area.
“We’re a key producer of prime pasture-fed beef and our farming methods in New Zealand are quite different to the intensive high-impact systems often used around the world – particularly when it comes to beef meat. Our world class beef is reared using our natural, low intervention farming techniques in a low stress environment, and is always grass-fed, resulting in meat that’s full of flavour, lean, tender and nutritious. We welcome the FTA which unlocks an important market for New Zealand farmers
Joe Nelson, New Zealand Trade Commissioner to UK & Ireland, says: “New Zealand prides itself on preserving its land and sea for future generations. Our climate, fertile soil and pristine ocean makes our country ideal for producing outstanding, great-tasting nutritious food and beverages.
“The UK market presents an exciting opportunity for New Zealand red meat exporters, and it’s great to see New Zealand’s premium, counter seasonal produce, being made available to UK consumers

The Alliance Group delivers a wide range of chilled, frozen and aged beef cuts to meet exacting quality standards, with their product portfolio of world class beef including Pure South and Handpicked Beef ranges.

The UK-New Zealand FTA is the second trade agreement with a non-EU country that the UK has negotiated since Brexit. An FTA with Australia was signed in December 2021.

Give us a Break! UK lunch break now averages 33 minutes with nearly half of workers eating lunch alone #

UK employers who encourage their teams to take longer, better quality and more frequent breaks could hold the key to unlocking productivity, improving employee wellbeing, and enticing more people back to work, reveals new research from Compass Group, the world's leading food services company, and global market intelligence agency Mintel.
Analysing insights from 35,000 workers across 26 countries, Compass Group’s Global Eating at Work Survey 2023 found that the length of time workers spend on their main lunch break varies considerably as you look around the world, from 54 minutes in China - one of the world’s fastest growing economies - to a little over 20 minutes in Poland.
The research reveals that UK workers today are taking less than 33 minutes per day for their main lunch break, if they have one at all, reducing opportunities to rest, recharge and socialise with colleagues.

UK employees working five days a week were found to skip one lunch break per week, while nearly half (48%) of UK workers eat their lunch alone.
At risk of burnout, 10% of UK workers said they take no breaks at all during their working week. This trend peaks at 17% for workers in the Senior Living industry, compared to 12% of workers who are workplace-based and just 5% of home-based workers.

Employers who invest in quality breakout areas and food and drink offerings can positively influence the productivity and wellbeing of their workforce. 
73% of UK workers said that taking a lunch break makes them more productive.

82% of UK workers said that taking regular breaks throughout a workday improves their overall productivity, with 7 in 10 employees using these breaks to eat and drink.

In support of employee wellbeing, 70% of UK workers think it’s important that employers provide a place at work where they can take a proper break to relax and recharge. 

Across all age groups, different generations want different things from their breaks at work, highlighting the need for employers to tailor breakout areas to match the wellbeing requirements of their unique workforce mix.
Eating and drinking during a break is the top priority for every age group, especially UK Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Younger Gen Z and Millennial workers want to use their time for more diverse pursuits that support their mental health, including relaxing, socialising with colleagues, and pursuing personal interests or hobbies.

The research shows that employees are significantly more likely to socialise and network with colleagues during breaks if they are provided with food and drink facilities at work. The more advanced the food offer provided, the stronger this trend becomes.

In workplaces with an advanced* food offering, 70% of workers choose to eat lunch with colleagues and only 23% eat by themselves.

In contrast, when no food and drink facilities are provided just 38% interact with colleagues during their main break nearly while nearly half (48%) choose to eat alone. 

Employers need to compete with home comforts if they want to encourage home-workers back into the workplace.

57% of UK workers say they can truly relax during breaks at home versus just 44% for breaks in the workplace.

Despite workers stressing how important it is for employers to provide facilities where they can take a proper break, only 24% of UK employers currently provide a staff restaurant on-site, while more than a third (37%) of UK workers say their workplace doesn’t have a suitable breakout area for them to relax and recharge. 

Morag Freathy, Managing Director, Eurest, said:

With productivity a key challenge facing businesses today, enabling employees to take time out of their working day to relax and recharge with colleagues can make a huge difference. Though it seems counterintuitive, high-quality breaks are a win-win for employees and employers alike, proven to enhance workers’ productivity, collaboration and mental health.
“Taking a lunch break is no longer a routine event at a set time of day. With the rise of flexible working, UK employees now expect to refuel however and whenever suits them best. They want convenient and good quality food and drink to recharge and provide an energy boost, comfortable places to sit, network and socialise with colleagues, and a workplace culture where breaks are encouraged, not frowned upon
Matt Thomas, Managing Director, Restaurant Associates, added:

For employers looking to motivate their teams, attract new talent and encourage hybrid workers back into the workplace, we’re seeing greater investment in the “hotelisation” of workspaces. This involves creating comfortable breakout areas which reflect the diverse needs of workers while providing food experiences and opportunities for social interaction which people can’t replicate at home.”
Eurest and Restaurant Associates are two of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s leading brands, providing catering to thousands of employees in the workplace, across the UK.

12 start-up street food businesses win a share of £100,000 investment from McCain Foodservice Solution. #

The culmination of an exciting year filled with determination and success
was marked by McCain Foodservice Solutions [McCain FS] and KERB+ as they hosted the final event of their new Streets Ahead programme.

The McCain FS Streets Ahead programme, supported by the KERB+ social enterprise aims to make a significant impact on the hospitality industry, dedicated to investing back by supporting a new generation of operators from less advantaged backgrounds. Together, they have nurtured the skills and street food business ideas of over 100 participants throughout the past 12 months.

12 ambitious participants were selected to participate in this two-day event held at Mission Kitchen, New Covent Garden, where they cooked their hero dish and pitched it to a judging panel of representatives from McCain FS and KERB+.

The panel interviewed each participant as they cooked their hero dish asking them questions about their food and what led them to create their dish.
The judging panel deliberated on each dish and pitch to determine which of them would each receive up to £10,000 to help fund their new business, totalling £100,000 invested by McCain FS.

At the end of the two pitch days, having been blown away by what they saw as well as the taste and quality of street food, the judging panel decided all 12 participants deserved a level of investment and wanted to further support each of them to continue their journey into street food.

4 participants received £10,000 investment, 5 participants received £6,000 investment and 3 received £3,000 investment.

Our ambition for the McCain FS Streets Ahead programme was to help the future of operators flourish and support individuals in building skills where they wouldn’t ordinarily receive it. What has become of Streets Ahead is a new network of soaring talent in the food service industry. I’ve been moved by the 
incredible resilience and passion of the participants and proud we have been able to support their dreams of becoming street food operators
”. Says Richard Jones, McCain Foods Commercial Director.

Our participants have seamlessly built new skills and relationships and we are proud to be working together with them, supporting them on journey to realise their opportunities. This is why we have decided to provide the well-deserved investment to all participants and further help develop their businesses until they can trade.” Says Mark Hodge, McCain Foods VP of Marketing

“The McCain Streets Ahead programme allows us to make a greater social impact, and it was incredibly rewarding to see all the participants do so well at the panel days. We look forward to continuing to work with them and supporting them to achieve their dream of running a successful street food business and
hopefully, one day becoming fully fledged KERB members where they can gain access to a range of incredible trading opportunities at our street food markets, events and food halls.” Says Gavin Dunn, Managing Director of KERB+

"The McCain Streets Ahead programme has taught me a lot, I have been blessed with so much support from the team here. There have been times I’ve been nervous and unsure if I can do this, but they have always encouraged me to reach for my dreams and I wouldn’t have made it here without them. The
Streets Ahead community and our shared love for food have made this experience for me. Today I watched everyone help each other; there is so much teamwork, we all want the best for each other, and I can’t thank enough the McCain FS and KERB+ team for bringing us here today.
” Says Kemi Ogulana, Streets Ahead Participant

Of the £100,000 investment from McCain FS they have funded 12 new start-up businesses with £79,000. The remaining £21,000 will be used to host a showcase market in partnership with KERB+ for the winning participants to trade at towards the end of this year.

McCain FS now surges into the second year of Streets Ahead where it continues to find participants from less advantaged backgrounds, who are driven and passionate about pursuing a career in setting up their very own street food business, with the goal of investing in the next cohort of Street Food entrepreneurs.

Sodexo kept troops fuelled with 50,000 meals for the King’s Coronation #

Last month, Sodexo’s teams across five military bases served more than 50,000 meals in the build up to and during the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla. 

As a long trusted partner to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Sodexo supplied around-the-clock services ahead of and during the official events in London and Windsor. These ranged from catering and cleaning to accommodation, tailoring and transport services at military sites in the south and south-east. 

St Omer barracks in Aldershot, part of Project Allenby Connaught provided accommodation for over 600 additional troops taking part in the official proceedings. With additional service personnel on site Sodexo served up an additional 6,000 breakfasts, on some days from 3am; 4,000 lunches and 2,200 packed lunches, 5,800 dinners included a late evening service for drivers, marshals and security teams. 

With rehearsals held at Aldershot Garrison, Sodexo teams hosted a number of visiting VIPs including Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh. 

Teams at Colchester Garrison provided additional support to members of the 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team with the tailoring, catering and transportation to Aldershot Garrison ahead of rehearsals and Coronation Day. 

RAF Halton in Aylesbury and HMNB Portsmouth were also used as bases for personnel involved in the Coronation; RAF Halton hosting 950 and HMNB Portsmouth 116. 

To cater for the increased personnel numbers, Sodexo brought in extra mobile catering units and extended mealtimes and opening hours of retail outlets. Cleaning regimes were adjusted accordingly and additional facilities such as portaloos provided across sites. 

RAF Odiham was also used in the preparations with the one and only full-scale rehearsal ahead of the main parade. Sodexo’s team there provided additional VIP light lunches in the Officer’s Mess and significantly increased its retail and waste management services. 

Paul Anstey, CEO Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “The King’s Coronation was a historic moment with personnel from across the Armed Forces playing an important part in the official celebrations. I am proud of all of our teams who distinguished themselves and ensured this amazingly large and complex operation ran smoothly for our military partners at each of the sites involved. Seeing first-hand the hard work and dedication of the troops in preparing for an event like this reinforces the importance of providing them with the best lived experience possible.” 

This week is Armed Forces Week (19-24 June), celebrating the British Armed Forces. Sodexo has worked with the British military and defence sites for more than 40 years, with tailored solutions to help military leaders and service units improve the quality of life of individuals, the community and on-site environment. Sodexo was an early signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant which was launched in 2013 and in 2022 was re-awarded its gold status in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme for its commitment and support to the UK’s Armed Forces community. It first received gold in 2017.

Closures, maximising margins and driving customer spend: New report reveals the true state of the hospitality sector #

A staggering 86% of UK hospitality operators will likely have to close in the next three years if their business costs don’t reduce and their revenue doesn’t increase, according to a new report.
Half of these (50%) will likely have to close within 12 months’ time.
The Plates to Profits Report* by one of the UK’s largest nationwide wholesalers Creed Foodservice, surveyed directors, owners, managers and chefs in restaurants, hotels and pubs, and brings to life the impact the pandemic, rising inflation and increasing food costs, together with the squeezed consumer purse, is having on their operations.
Philip de Ternant, Managing Director at Creed Foodservice, says: “We all know the hospitality sector has taken a real hammering but to see the number of operators, who could very realistically be forced to close in the coming months, is sobering and stark.
“Inflation and rising food costs are affecting the entire supply chain, from suppliers, logistics companies, transportation, the front line such as restaurants, pubs and hotels, and wholesalers like us. Over the last year we've seen a 27% increase on eggs and baking potatoes, another staple, has risen by £8 a case.
“Combine this with consumers who are also having to review their expenditure – nearly half of operators told us that the number of bookings at their establishment have reduced - the pressure mounts even more
Unsurprisingly, two thirds (63%) of operators said business concerns around revenue and profit has impacted their mental health over the past 12 months.
Philip de Ternant continues: “Our Plates to Profits Report is in part about genuinely understanding what state the sector is in but more so about giving operators advice, guidance and actionable ideas on how they can increase the profit on every plate they serve and drive maximum revenue into their establishment.
“The vast majority of operators (85%) told us they will need to increase their menu prices to stay financially viable. However, 83% are worried that if they do this it will alienate consumers and put them off visiting their establishment. They feel stuck between a rock and hard place.
“We’ve worked with our insights team, chefs, category specialists and senior figures to look at every aspect of an operation; from reducing food waste, maximising margins on dishes, navigating staff shortages to still create quality dishes, communicating the story behind the menu to consumers, utilising seasonal produce, recipe ideas and increasing prices through offering premium sides, high-quality specials and set-menus. We’ve also liaised with some of our restaurant and pub customers who have also contributed thoughts to the Report
Key Report Discoveries
Changing Consumer Behaviour

Operators told Creed:
Nearly half (47%) have seen the number of bookings reduce
45% said customers are choosing sharing food options
43% said customers are reducing the number of courses they order
Four out of ten (40%) said customers are choosing more affordable dishes and reducing the number of sides they order
A third (33%) said customers are booking into earlier time slots to make the most of ‘early bird’ menu deals
Three out of ten (29%) said customers are not ordering coffee or tea at the end of their meal
Nearly two out of ten (19%) said customers are not ordering alcohol and instead choosing soft drinks or water 
Navigating staff shortages
Due to not having a highly skilled chef / catering team, operators told Creed:
Half (49%) have had to change their menu to more simpler dishes
A further 39% have had to buy in more pre-prepared or semi-prepared dishes and ingredients
Four out of ten (39%) have had to stop serving food on certain days or reduce opening times as they don’t have a chef or catering team available 
Food waste eats profits
Interestingly, despite rising cost pressures, food waste is still an issue across the entire sector:
A whopping 95% of operators agreed they could improve on the levels of food waste their business produces
When asked what would help them reduce their food waste, operators told Creed:

Using pre-prepared stocks, sauces and gravies – 58%
Ordering bespoke sized cuts and packs of meat – 55%
Using frozen bake-off pastries and desserts – 53%
Using typical food waste in dishes ie potato peelings on top of pies, cauliflower stalks in dishes not just the florets etc – 49%
Using dried herbs and spices instead of fresh – 27%
Consolidating their menu – 13% 
Dishes that maximise margins
Operators told Creed:
Burgers are the dish that delivers the highest margin for most (41%)
Over a third said Italian fare including pizzas (37%) and pasta dishes (35%) make the most margin
Nearly a quarter find that steak (23%) and chicken dishes (22%) deliver the best margin, as do plant-based dishes 
Initiatives to drive customer spend
Operators told Creed:
*  53% are offering two or three course set menus
*  Half (50%) are using more seasonal produce to try and manage increased business costs
*  49% are offering an enhanced drink selection including cocktails
*  A further 47% have streamlined their menu to utilise more affordable ingredients
*  44% are offering higher priced specials and 42% are offering premium sides
*  Four out of ten (39%) have started to use outdoor space to maximise capacity and extra potential covers in the past couple of years, in response to rising inflation
*  A fifth (20%) are charging for bread and butter
*  19% have set service times ie 6pm and 8pm to get double covers on all their tables each lunch/dinner
*  16% are training staff on upsell opportunities 

Philip de Ternant concludes: “The Report has highlighted the importance of the entire supply chain working together. We’re all facing similar challenges; no one is immune. It’s evident that in many cases seeking support from each other is already happening; over three quarters (77%) of operators consult their wholesalers for cost-saving advice.
“What is one of the most uplifting aspects to the Report is how it’s shown us the sector’s fighting spirit is well and truly alive. We’re seeing some really great innovation coming through; both from the Report findings and also what we’re seeing when we’re out visiting customers
To view the Plates to Profits Report please visit:

Caterplus teams up with Taylor Shaw and Edwards & Blake to promote intergenerational engagement #

Caterplus, a leading caterer specialising in the care and retirement living sector, has linked up with Taylor Shaw and Edwards & Blake, specialist caterers in the education sector, to identify and connect local schools and retirement living communities to enable children and residents to collaborate in joint activities and experiences.

In an initial trial, links were created between seven schools and retirement communities – which were geographically close to each other - to celebrate the Coronation in May. Children in schools, where Taylor Shaw or Edwards & Blake provide the catering, created bookmarks, placemats and bunting to celebrate the Coronation which were then shared with residents living in retirement communities where Caterplus provides food services. Postcards were exchanged between the children and the residents with the latter sharing their memories of the previous Coronation or other Royal events over the years.
Elior UK’s education and care and retirement living businesses were motivated to create these positive links by the many benefits that have been associated with intergenerational relationships such as: reducing loneliness; building social connections; increasing understanding of shared experiences; reducing ageism and boosting mental wellbeing and self-confidence for all those involved.
Twelve children from Dobcroft Junior School in Sheffield visited residents at Windsor House, a retirement living community in Sheffield, to share memories about the recent Coronation and previous Royal events and to discuss a typical day at school. Plans are now underway for further activities in September to share experiences of returning to school and memories from the summer holidays, to sing carols and decorate cakes at Christmas and to celebrate World Book Day.
Ann, a resident present at the visit, commented: “It was a wonderful tonic and has done the power of good for me and many of my fellow residents and we look forward to future visits.”
Nancy, a year 6 pupil at Dobcroft Junior School added: “It was a great experience to listen to the views of the elderly residents and their memories of Queen Elizabeth's Coronation and how it compared to King Charles’ Coronation.”
Claire Field, a teacher at Dobcroft Junior School said: “The children and staff of Dobcroft Junior School are very proud to be part of this intergenerational project and the children who visited Windsor House thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share their experiences.  We hope this is the beginning of a strong relationship between the two organisations.”
Lyn Winnard, managing director Taylor Shaw, said: “The visit in Sheffield was a great success for both the children and the residents. The children loved showing the residents what they had made to celebrate the Coronation and listening to the residents’ stories and are excited to present what they learnt at a school assembly.”
Laura Tighe, managing director of Caterplus, said: “The benefits of intergenerational collaboration are many and as we are part of a larger business which operates in many sectors, this made it much easier to create these links and make them happen. The feedback has been wonderful both from the children and the residents and it is exciting that this is just the start of some great connections which we plan to expand and nurture over the coming year and beyond.”
Due to the initial success of the trial, there are now plans to identify more schools and retirement living communities that can be connected for future activities that are planned for the rest of the year.  

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers: Five new openings to watch as a new wave of Greek restaurants hits the UK #

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers, the pioneering food trends service from one of the UK’s top foodservice development agencies, has been analysing the potential growth of Greek cuisine in the UK, with new restaurant entries continuing to emerge across London.

In a dedicated article, which can be accessed here for free; Insights Lab highlights five new Greek restaurant openings, spotlighting innovative menu offerings, with traditional rustic, modern takes, and fusion among the routes being explored by a new wave of Greek restaurateurs.

Kateline Porritt, Head of Trends at Egg Soldiers, said: “Over the past decade, independent family-run eateries, The Real Greek restaurant chain (and a couple of other smaller operations), a flock of street food operators, and a smattering of modern Greek approaches have enjoyed moderate successes while Italian, Asian and American chains dominate city streets.

“There was something of a push towards a greater Greek footprint in London around 2015, driven by the arrival of casual dining brands such as The Hungry Donkey, Greek Larder and Suvlaki. It proved to be a false dawn, however, with Greek cuisine remaining far from being a noteworthy food trend.

“Fast-forward to today, and there's a growing pile of evidence to suggest Greek cuisine is far from finished in terms of attempting to establish itself as a key part of the UK's restaurant scene, with new openings once again on the rise across London.

“And then there’s The Real Greek, which is set for expansion across both the UK and internationally as part of Japanese food conglomerate Toridoll's purchase of Fulham Shore

Egg Soldiers’ Kateline spoke to William Reed’s MCA Insight last month on the latter topic, pointing out that restaurant chains such as Fulham Shore’s Franco Manca and The Real Greek offer comfort, nostalgia, and often affordability – making it a win across demographics, including families.

Franco Manca and The Real Greek both do what they do very well and consistently,” she said.

They are reliable brands that are authentic enough to their respective cuisines to be exported; that is, they are not too niche or Anglicised.

“The best thing about the two restaurants is they are not trendy in a faddy way which means they have staying power. The trend they are riding is that of simplicity and accessibility

Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers produces a bi-monthly food trends newsletter, regularly posts free deep dives on its website, and provides detailed reports and immersive workshops to inspire NPD teams and drive innovation for UK foodservice businesses.

Discover more with its free whitepaper, ‘UK Hospitality Food & Drink Trends to Watch 2023/24’.

Sodexo and FareShare partnership reaches £1.5m funding milestone #

With a shared commitment to fighting food insecurity and food waste Sodexo and FareShare, the UK’s leading food redistribution charity, have been working together since 2005 and this year is celebrating a milestone with the total financial support donated from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation to FareShare reaching an amazing £1.5 million. 

Over the duration of its partnership the financial support from Sodexo has helped cover the logistics costs which form a huge part of the charity’s operation, enabling it to increase the volume of surplus food being redistributed across its charity network, helping to redistribute the equivalent of five million meals to those in need. 

Volunteering also plays a vital role in the partnership and to mark this special milestone a series of volunteering opportunities were offered to Sodexo employees, clients and suppliers with FareShare and its partners throughout National Volunteering Week. In total 76 volunteers clocked up over 350 hours of volunteering over an eight day period. 

Volunteers spent time at FareShare and its partner’s depots across the UK, from Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool andLeeds in the north, to Birmingham, London and right down to Brighton in the south, with their efforts resulting in the equivalent of 25,754 meals being redistributed to those in need. 

Sodexo’s volunteering programme is part of its commitment to fighting food insecurity both in the UK and Ireland as well as across the globe. Every year Sodexo enables its employees to three paid days to participate in volunteering activity with charities such as FareShare. This provides them with the chance to deliver social impact to their local communities as well as providing opportunities for team-building, improved wellbeing, as well as the development of personal and professional skills. 

Patrick Forbes, head of supply management at Sodexo UK & Ireland Trustee of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation said: “As a purpose-led business with a large operational footprint we are committed to doing all we can to support and have a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. Since our partnership with FareShare began back in 2005 we have been proud to have helped it to expand its reach across the UK to more communities in desperate need of help through our financial support, employee volunteering and other initiatives such as providing coaching for their team members to help with their own personal development.” 

In 2022-2023 FareShare redistributed 54,000 tonnes of food, equivalent to four meals every second, supporting around 8,500 charities and community projects nationwide. The frontline charities who receive food from FareShare are reporting skyrocketing demand for their services as the cost of living crisis drives millions into food poverty.  These charities use food to help tackle the root causes of poverty, and provide vital services including homelessness shelters, lunch clubs for elderly people suffering with isolation, and support with issues including debt, employment and mental health.   

Lindsay Boswell, CEO FareShare said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Sodexo for their support in reaching this incredible fundraising milestone and to their staff for giving up their time to volunteer for us at a time when the demand for food has never been higher. The money raised will make a huge difference in getting good-to-eat surplus food to people who need it most and help support the essential work of 8,500 charities across the UK.”