TUCO Winter Conference – Ethical business tops agenda

Caterers from across the UK’s FE and HE sector head to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow for TUCO’s Winter Conference

Now in its third year, the day-long event hosted by The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) focused on how adopting an ethical approach to business can be the key to success. Headline speakers from the likes of Unilever and Glasgow Caledonian University covered everything from how to gain an edge over competitors to the impact of Brexit and the benefits of sustainability in the workplace.

Stephanie Fairhurst, Psychological Skills Mentor at Chimp Management, kicked off the day by delving into the ways organisations can develop a culture that empowers staff through challenges and rewards, while also providing practical techniques to improve mind management.

The skills gap also featured high on the agenda, with Dr Bernadette Scott, Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School for Business and Society, highlighting concerns around graduate recruitment and retention. With 500,000 more skilled employees needed to fill hospitality roles within the next five years, Bernadette stressed the importance of engaging with Generation Y through social media and creating flexible employment packages.

While Brexit talks continue apace, and many employees face the unknown, never has it been more important to discuss how to maintain a quality and robust offer, in order to retain staff and gain a competitive edge

While Wendy Duncan, Research & Development Technical Manager at Unilever, took to the stage to share her expertise on reducing food waste, discussing the Courtauld 2025 agreement and how businesses can meet sustainable objectives. To round up the event, Billy Miller, Owner and Managing Director of Coffee Conscience, talked about the importance of initiatives like the Green Bean to Cup scheme, with Edinburgh college among the first in the UK to roast fresh coffee beans on site.

Matt White, Chair TUCO, said: “There are a number of key issues facing the sector at present, which we wanted to address at this year’s conference and share strategies to overcome. While Brexit talks continue apace, and many employees face the unknown, never has it been more important to discuss how to maintain a quality and robust offer, in order to retain staff and gain a competitive edge.

“Good ethics and business values are something very close to our hearts at TUCO. We believe that these are the bedrock of any business and we hope our conference discussions not only inspired members but gave them the confidence to implement best practice when it comes to nurturing employees and running a sustainable business.”

The annual TUCO Winter Conference aims to inspire attendees as well as encourage sharing of best practice so that members can continue to update and incorporate innovative ideas into their own catering offering.

W: www.tuco.ac.uk

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