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With students’ positive mental health and welfare a key priority for universities and colleges, it is crucial that TUCO puts wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.

One of our goals, as the leading professional membership for in-house caterers, is to help generate a positive community atmosphere through good food, drink and hospitality. It is our responsibility to help to create a welcoming and secure environment for students while supporting their wellbeing.

This has always been a key focus for us. In 2018, TUCO produced a report that signified the organisation’s intention to start a national conversation among its members about ways in which on-campus hospitality can make a positive contribution to student wellbeing. In response to this, we are aiming to launch a digital Mental Health Toolkit, a new scheme that seeks to make a difference to the lives of university students. The idea is that it will provide support to members who are at the forefront of a university’s catering team to help identify students who may be struggling with university life.

Staff will be taught to look out for red flags that can be passed onto a university’s welfare team. They will also be encouraged to carry out ‘small acts of kindness’, which could be as simple as asking a student how their day is going, for example, or giving the student a free coffee.

The toolkit will also offer members ideas on how to encourage healthy eating which, as we all know, can have a positive impact on wellbeing. Many universities now offer a retail environment which is a step in the right direction; however, we still must be encouraging students to make healthy choices.

But it is a shared responsibility. We urge our industry and institutions to include positive schemes within their catering services to influence student wellbeing.

We are not asking staff to become experts, but more to be involved with students on a daily basis. This puts them in a unique position to identify red flags. It also demonstrates to a student that there is someone to talk to and someone looking out for them – even if it is to point them in the direction of support.

As sector leaders, we will continue to promote and support a positive community atmosphere through dedicated initiatives such as our toolkit but, ultimately, we believe it all comes down to good food, drink and hospitality that can create that feeling of inclusion, community and belonging.

So, let’s work together to make it happen. 


www.tuco.ac.uk

[post_title] => Every little bit helps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => every-little-bit-helps-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-19 11:25:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-19 11:25:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=29556 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29045 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2020-02-28 00:00:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-28 00:00:51 [post_content] => Four new non-executive directors have been appointed to the board of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO). Gagan Kapoor and Kate Glynn are heads of catering at Loughborough and Aston universities respectively; Ros Wilkinson is Lancaster University’s head of hospitality; and Manish Shah is associate director of King’s Food, King’s College London. The appointments were announced at TUCO’s annual chairman’s dinner, held at Edinburgh Castle on February 20.
You may also like: TUCO signs 20-year deal with Access Hospitality
“These new appointments will help us ensure our values of teamwork, equality, integrity, transparency, commitment and wellbeing are delivered fully when the board is making its decisions,” said TUCO CEO, Mike Haslin. “The depth of skills, experience and expertise that we now have on the board reflects the important role TUCO plays as an expert in the hospitality industry, educating and encouraging a culture of best practice in the sector and acting as an agent for change.” [post_title] => TUCO appoints new non-executive directors [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tuco-appoints-new-non-executive-directors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-07 15:12:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-07 14:12:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=29045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28743 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2020-02-19 10:59:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-19 10:59:36 [post_content] => By Matthew White, chair of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and the director of campus commerce at the University of Reading. One of our goals, as the leading professional membership for in-house caterers, is to help generate a positive community atmosphere through good food, drink and hospitality. It is our responsibility to help to create a welcoming and secure environment for students whilst supporting their wellbeing. This has always been a key focus for us. In 2018 TUCO produced a report that signified the organisation’s intention to start a national conversation amongst its members about ways in which on-campus hospitality can make a positive contribution to student wellbeing. In response to this, we are aiming to launch a digital Mental Health Toolkit, a new scheme that seeks to make a real difference to the lives of university students. The idea is that it will provide support to members who are at the forefront of a university’s catering team to help identify students who may be struggling with university life. As part of the kit, staff will be taught to look out for red flags that can be passed onto a university’s welfare team. They will also be encouraged to carry out ‘small acts of kindness’, which could be as simple as asking a student how their day is going, for example, or giving the student a free coffee. The toolkit will also offer members ideas on how to encourage healthy eating, which as we all know, can have a positive impact on wellbeing. Many universities now offer a retail environment which is a step in the right direction, however we still must be encouraging students to make healthy choices. But it is a shared responsibility. We urge our industry and institutions to include positive schemes within their catering services to influence student wellbeing. We are not asking staff to become experts, but more to be involved with students on a daily basis. This puts them in a unique position to identify red flags. It also demonstrates to a student that there is someone to talk to and someone looking out for them. Even if it is to point them in the direction of support. As sector leaders, we will continue to promote and support a positive community atmosphere through dedicated initiatives such as our toolkit but ultimately, we believe it all comes down to good food, drink and hospitality that can create that feeling of inclusion, community and belonging. So let’s work together to make it happen. Join TUCO nowwww.tuco.ac.uk/become-member [post_title] => Every little bit helps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => every-little-bit-helps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-14 11:48:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-14 10:48:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=28743 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27600 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2020-01-17 00:00:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-17 00:00:08 [post_content] => We are in for a busy year, if 2019 is anything to go by. Last year saw TUCO host two very successful conferences, release its invaluable ‘Intelligence’ food and drinks reports, expand its procurement services and grow its Academy’s learning programme. These are just a few examples of the exceptional work we have been carrying out not only to deliver real value for our members, but to provide a strong industry voice as the leading professional membership body for in-house public sector caterers.  Moving forward, we will continue to build on our key philosophies of ‘share, learn, buy and grow’ and ensure best practice for our members, starting with our events. Entries are now open for our TUCO competitions. Returning to the University of Warwick on April 7th and 8th, this year’s competitions have been developed to feature three new challenges which we are confident will be a big hit with the industry. Following on, our TUCO conference, themed ‘Breaking the Mould’, takes place in July (27–29). The event will also provide the perfect platform to announce the appointment of Phil Rees-Jones as new chair of TUCO. Phil will be coming on board with over 24 years’ experience in the catering, hospitality and retail sector. We look forward to welcoming him to the team. We will once again be releasing our must-read Global Food and Drink reports, which ensure members stay one step ahead when it comes to the latest industry trends.  Talking of future trends, while vegan, plant-based foods and sustainable consuming remain a key focus, we are also seeing a larger prominence role given to university caterers to help support student wellbeing and mental health. No longer are we asked to just ‘deliver food’, but our staff are increasingly required to be part of student pastoral care. One of the challenges for us, as an industry, is how we improve on the range of skills required to deliver this role. Some universities have already tapped into this trend by extending their facilities and offering excellent sporting, accommodation and dining facilities. This is encouraging to see.  So, all in all, an eventful first-half of the year. For more information on our plans for the latter half, we welcome you to visit our website. But for now, I look forward to seeing what we, as an industry, can achieve now and in the future. 
As always, we will keep our members up to speed with the latest market data and trends shaping our sector via our reports and website at: www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => Future gazing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => future-gazing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-14 11:15:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-14 11:15:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=27600 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27358 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2019-12-19 10:00:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-19 10:00:16 [post_content] => The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) hosted its fourth annual winter conference earlier this month. December 4 saw a packed gathering at Cardiff University, all exploring the theme of sustainable success. “This was an opportunity to meet people running companies which have set out to put planet before profit, yet have still delivered commercially,” said Matthew White, TUCO chair. “The take-homes for our members are huge. We saw speaker after speaker deliver innovative ways to be both sustainable and successful.”
You may also like: TUCO signs 20-year deal with Access Hospitality
Some of the many speakers at the event included Louise Whitaker from Bewley’s Tea and Coffee. She underlined the fact that, despite a throwaway culture becoming increasingly unfashionable, 40% of plastics still go to landfill. To help counter that, she outlined some of the solutions being adopted by higher education institutions. These include an outright ban of disposable cups by Harper Adams University - instead charging £1 for a reusable one - and taxes on single-use cups instigated by the universities of Winchester and Reading. Hugh Jones, programme area manager for food waste prevention in Wales at WRAP, explored broader issues of food waste, while Flawsome Drinks’ Maciek Kacprzyk discussed the benefits of ‘wonky’ fruit and veg, in light of research suggesting that a third of all food is wasted due to aesthetic standards or supply chain inefficiencies.
This was an opportunity to meet people running companies which have set out to put planet before profit yet have still delivered commercially  - Matthew White, TUCO chair
Ben Greensmith, UK country manager at Tony’s Chocolonely, addressed raising awareness of child slavery in the chocolate industry, claiming that 90% of children working on cocoa farms are working illegally. Other speakers included Helen Harwatt, an environmental social scientist at Harvard University; Dr Marco Springmann, a senior researcher in population health from Oxford University; and Nick Waring from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee. Founder of the Green Vic and the Better World Group, Randy Rampersad, concluded the speaker sessions by outlining the success of his ‘planet over profit’ ethos. In accordance with the theme, a bespoke app enabled the whole conference to be a paper-free affair, while £1500 was donated to Regrow Borneo to help offset the event’s carbon footprint. [post_title] => TUCO hosts successful fourth annual winter conference [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tuco-hosts-successful-fourth-annual-winter-conference [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-19 09:51:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-19 09:51:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=27358 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26988 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-12-16 00:00:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-16 00:00:27 [post_content] =>

As an organisation, TUCO strives to deliver real value for its members. One of the ways we do this is by offering industry data, which leads me on to the launch of our fourth and final Intelligence food and drink report for this year.

Released every quarter, the report provides a key focus on inflation rates, supply chain and alcohol – or, should I say, non-alcoholic – drinking trends.

Launched last year on behalf of our members, the report arms buyers with the latest intelligence on trends impacting caterers and anyone supplying them. It raises the concerns we all share over Brexit, which continues to dominate conversations.

Inflation adds to this concern, with the UK rate hitting its lowest level in three years. The UK inflation rate in October was 1.5%, down from 1.7% the previous month.

Elsewhere, weather conditions continue to put stress on suppliers. According to the latest Birtwistles report, this year’s hot summer has caused a reduction in turkey supply. Breeding flocks have died in Central France due to heat stress, and high temperatures have reduced food-conversion ratios.

The world’s coffee market is also taking a hit with farmers earning far less than they need to break even, therefore forcing them away from their crops.

The average citizen, reports Wax Digital, drinks 676 cups of coffee and spends a total of £303 on coffee each year. With this figure set to rise by a further 2% annually, and more farmers turning to alternative jobs that pay better, this could lead to a serious lack of supply.

On a more positive note, 2020 is set to be a good year for the humble spud.

The latest Fresh Direct Market review says growing conditions are much better.

It found that a cold spring saw slow growth, but a good combination of sunshine and rain have provided ideal growing conditions.

Alcohol is also a key focus in the report as Bidfood Unity Wines finds a third of 18–24-year olds aren’t drinking at all and 50% of adults are now moderating their intake. This has led to a huge drive towards new product development, with suppliers increasing the amount of low- and no-ABV products in their portfolios.


As always, we will continue to keep our members up to speed with the latest market data and trends shaping our sector via our reports and website at: www.tuco.ac.uk

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At TUCO we take pride in sharing best practice. And one of the ways we do this is through our events and conferences where we offer valuable knowledge and support for our members and guests.

Free for members to attend, our annual Winter Conference on 4 December at Cardiff University gives visitors the opportunity to pick up valuable insight ready to implement in the new year.

‘Sustainable Success’ is the theme for our upcoming event and we are excited to unveil some of our exceptional speakers. Charlie Huson of Humane Society International will take to the stage, along with Jim Cregan of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, and Professor Wouter Portinga. This is just a taster of what’s to come.

These, along with many other key speakers from across the industry, will discuss various hot topics within sustainability in higher and further education. This can be anything from coffee cups to plant-based cuisine to reusing food waste.

After the conference will be our Cardiff Study Tour. Members will get to tour the green city and explore restaurants in and around Cardiff that promote and adopt green practices. Cardiff is a sustainable city – just this month, Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon introduced a Green Action Plan to help minimise the event’s environmental impact. The idea was to help cut down on waste and plastic-use, and encourage more sustainable travel choices. That’s some commitment and one that I admire.

Every one of us has a duty to take action to minimise our environmental impact. And as the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers, we recognise the important role we have in helping to shape behaviours. Bearing this in mind, we will be trialling a new app from Whova for this year’s conference. All our marketing documents, agendas and speaker biographies will be uploaded onto it for our members to use, replacing any printed marketing material for the event.

We will keep you updated on the progress of this ahead of the event. And while you are at the show, keep an eye out for our electricity-generating bikes. Yes, they will charge your phone but you will have to work for it!


To book your place at the Winter Conference, visit: www.tuco.ac.uk/community/winter-conference-2019

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As the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers, we are delighted to launch our third TUCO Intelligence food and drinks report, rounding up the latest market intelligence with a focus on sustainability, the effects of the summer heatwave and Brexit.

Launched last year on behalf of our members, the report is designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them through a round-up of industry data and reports.

Released every quarter, our invaluable reports help pinpoint what drives food and beverage trends and what shapes our industry.

Sustainability will always be a hot topic in our industry. As an organisation, we welcome Henry Dimbleby’s latest appointment by Environment Secretary Michael Gove to lead the first major review of the UK food system in almost 75 years. We very much look forward to engaging in the strategy of the nation’s approach to food.

Talking of food, 2019 might well go down as a landmark year in the global poultry and pig industries as poultry producers cash in as China’s swine fever crisis shows no sign of abating. Chinese imports of fresh/frozen poultry have already risen by 40% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the latest Birtwistles market report. UK/EU prices remain firm.

Vegetables, however, have taken a hit. According to the Reynolds Crop Report, the sizzling hot temperatures in July killed off the brassica crop, resulting in wholesale prices hiking from 60p to £3 for cauliflower. Broccoli supply is also expected to be difficult due to Britain’s bizarre recent weather conditions.

The price of halloumi has also rocketed, thanks to a global shortage. Last year, reports The Grocer, producers warned they were struggling to keep up with demand and an export deal with China might lead to shortages in the UK. Brexit is also hitting the cheese hard as a weak pound makes it far more expensive to import.

As 31 October closes in, Brexit continues to be a key discussion point for us all. To support our members, we have conducted a survey of all appointed suppliers to ascertain their latest position for a no-deal Brexit. The findings will be posted on our Brexit Impact Tool on the TUCO website, so stay tuned.

As an organisation, TUCO strives to deliver real value for members.

We do this by offering industry data such as this, our procurement services, our award-winning academy and events throughout the calendar year.


Our next event coming up is our Winter Conference, taking place on 4 December at Cardiff University.  The theme for this year is ‘Sustainable Success’. To book your place, visit: www.tuco.ac.uk/community/winter-conference-2019

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The higher and further education sectors continue to face significant commercial challenges. As the leading professional membership body for in-house public sector caterers, TUCO is committed to delivering procurement savings and best-in-class training.

We believe it is the combination of these two elements which will best help support universities through these challenging times.

In this era of constant downward pressure, our ambition is to help universities achieve value for money across their procurement. Our combined spend, which is in excess of £146m, helps to drive down costs and maximise quality for our members.


“The TUCO Efficiency Review provided key strategic business intelligence that helped build and support our catering strategy. The report and its scoring mechanisms showed areas where development was needed and gave assurance in areas where a good score was gained.

“In addition, we found the industry KPIs and benchmarking of value in measuring ourselves against the industry, and the recommendations made by the report, combined with advice on where to source avenues of support and guidance, was invaluable. An excellent business tool that we will use again to measure our progress.”

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY on the Efficiency Review


We are currently trusted to work with more than 120 universities, 200 colleges, 40 local authorities and 20 NHS trusts. And our not-for-profit procurement services offer a consistent and efficient buying process, with a full-time CIPS-qualified team dedicated to cutting costs.

With commercial success at the forefront of university strategy, smart procurement can help deliver those much-needed savings and quality control integrity. At TUCO we have developed several innovative procurement technologies which do just that. These include TUCO Online, a revolutionary web-based eProcurement system which provides a solution for procurement teams to manage and control supplier trading relationships. The dynamic purchasing portal delivers improved efficiency, complete visibility, reduced costs and compliance across entire organisations with one simple login.

Our Further Competition Service offers bespoke buying support and is another of our forward-thinking procurement innovations. It includes benchmarking of service levels, scrutinising spend data and negotiating better prices. Like our TUCO Online service, it is free to members.

Both procurement tools are complemented by our newly-launched Efficiency Review.

For a small subsidised cost, TUCO, along with a leading consultancy, will independently measure performance and provide valuable metrics which can be used to improve take-up, spend per head and margin.

We don’t believe our role is purely a procurement one; we also have a strong focus on supporting members to grow and develop. Our award-winning TUCO Academy provides a wide range of learning and development opportunities, all of which are subsided for full members. Recognising the urgent need to retain, upskill and recruit staff, our extensive selection of day courses, e-learning, development days and study tours can be used as a structured personal development opportunity for university staff.

To enhance our training offer, we collaborated with London South Bank University (LSBU) School of Law and Social Sciences to deliver a master’s degree in Hospitality Leadership in Universities and the Public Sector. We were extremely proud to have fully sponsored 10 TUCO members in the first cohort of 2019 and we are delighted once again to offer a bursary to TUCO members for the 2020 intake. Bursaries of up to 100% of teaching fees are available to TUCO members.

These ideas fall under our four strategic platforms of Share, Learn, Buy and Grow. Developed to enable universities to share and celebrate achievement, learn via a wide range of courses, buy via our EU-compliant catering frameworks and grow through our latest market research and trend analysis. We believe it is the unique combination of these platforms which will help bring commercial success to universities in these challenging times. 


Why TUCO

  • Delivering annual savings to members in excess of £15m
  • £146m+ annual spend
  • Members gain access to more than 200 quality-assured suppliers
  • 19 EU-compliant framework agreements
  • Full-time CIPS qualified team dedicated to cutting costs
  • No barriers to entry – 80% of TUCO suppliers are SMEs or micro enterprises
  • Award-winning training academy
  • In depth, insightful market intelligence through TUCO research
  • Sharing of best practice through member case studies
  • Access to added-value benefits such as:
  1. – TUCO Online: a revolutionary web-based eProcurement system which provides a dynamic online purchasing portal
  2. – Further Competitions: a personalised procurement service that is FREE to members. We work with your staff to offer as much or as little support as they need, freeing them up to focus on other areas
  3. – Efficiency Review: working with a leading consultancy, we offer a personalised, independent, measure of performance

To find out more about TUCO, please visit www.tuco.ac.uk or contact Mike Haslin CEO on 0161 713 3421 or mike.haslin@tuco.ac.uk 

[post_title] => Procurement and training excellence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => procurement-and-training-excellence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-01 10:04:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-01 09:04:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=25122 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25305 [post_author] => 78 [post_date] => 2019-10-03 12:15:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-03 11:15:33 [post_content] =>
The University Caterers Organisation Ltd (TUCO) has awarded a 20-year partnership to leading technology provider Access Hospitality, part of The Access Group, extending its partnership to provide a procurement platform for its members. TUCO Online is powered by Access Procure Wizard and is available to all TUCO members. It has been developed to help university purchasing teams save time and money by streamlining their procurement processes, reducing costs, improving controls and automating invoicing. It also provides a full kitchen management system, including advanced stock control, waste, allergen and nutritional management.

Improving user experience

Henry Seddon, managing director of Access Hospitality commented: “We know that 80% of hospitality operators use a procurement system but this number drops significantly to below 5% in the education sector. The technology is available to make the user experience as straightforward as possible, so we are thrilled to continue our partnership with TUCO in the delivery of TUCO Online, enabling more universities to have access to the tools that allow them to focus on what they do best.’’ Mike Haslin, CEO of TUCO adds: “After a thorough process, we are delighted to renew and extend our contract with Access Hospitality. This means our members can continue to enjoy the many financial and cost-saving benefits of TUCO Online in partnership with Access Procure Wizard. We are proud the benefits of our system extend beyond efficiency and deliver complete purchasing visibility and compliance across whole organisations with one simple login.” Mike Hornsby, Systems Manager from the University of Brighton who have been using TUCO Online for two years added:page1image23357568
“TUCO Online has given us the ability to place an order with multiple suppliers at the same time – everything is in the same place. Also, we’ve never been able to easily compare pricing across products – that’s now at our fingertips and is invaluable.”
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It’s that time of year when we release our invaluable Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2019 in association with thefoodpeople.

Now in its third year, the report was launched to a fanfare at our recent summer conference at the University of York. Forming part of our research arm, it was launched under our TUCO banners of #grow and #learn. A must-read for all hospitality workers, the report highlights food and drink trends over the past 12 months which have influenced those elusive millennial and gen Z groups.

Identifying global, social and cultural trends which work at an overarching cultural level, the report helps pinpoint what drives food and beverage trends and how caterers can use these to their full advantage. The 12 key overarching trends from 2018 continue but with subtle changes in influence and prominence.

For example, in the ‘health for all’ category, the report finds health is no longer about special diets. It’s not a trend but a lifestyle. The report also recognises two new sub trends for 2019: clean energy and good carbs.

In the plant-based revolution, the report finds it’s no longer about whether you are vegan or vegetarian; it’s more about reducing your reliance on animal-based products to support your own health and the environment. It finds this category has expanded to “unprecedented levels” with new products being launched daily and is no longer the preserve of niche food outlets or specialist supermarkets.

And that’s what really interests me about these findings. We are continually pushed to provide commercial success within our own operations, and by using market data such as this, we can help navigate the pitfalls and provide a truly innovative and desired campus dining experience.

As an organisation, TUCO strives to deliver real value to its members, and we do this by supporting our peers with global research such as this, as well as our procurement services, our award-winning academy and events throughout the calendar year to help advance knowledge and skills.

We are the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers, and we continue to work to provide quality standards and advice to those working in public sector catering.


To read the full report, please go to www.tuco.ac.uk

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The higher education market is an innovative and diverse environment. One which delivers not just student food but also best-in-class fine dining to corporations and VIPs. Modern higher education hospitality is worlds away from its former institutional reputation and now provides market-leading food and drink offers.

Our members frequently ask what development opportunities are available to aspiring hospitality directors in higher education. As an organisation which thrives on supporting individuals to further their careers and business opportunities, we wanted to offer a course for senior managers to broaden their growth and development. Therefore, in 2018 we launched our master’s degree in Hospitality Leadership in Universities and the Public Sector. The unique course is a collaboration between our award-winning TUCO Academy and London South Bank University (LSBU) School of Law and Social Sciences.


Modules and projects

Product and market trends and drivers

Develops the skills and knowledge to analyse market and product development opportunities. Prepares documentation that can help convince others of a prospects viability.

Strategy and visioning

Provides in-depth exploration and analysis of the diverse theoretical perspectives on strategic management and contextualises these in relation to hospitality within universities and the public sector.

Hospitality leadership

Focuses on the active, professional aspects of leadership studies within the hospitality industry in public organisations. Examines the complex and ever-changing environment of universities and public sector hospitality, by applying contemporary theoretical perspectives to achieve sustainable and transformational leadership.

Marketing and merchandising

Focuses on understanding consumers, communicating with them and developing loyal relationships with them. Also covers marketing strategy and planning in both theory and practice within public services. Explores how public organisations can utilise hospitality and address key marketing challenges posed by an increasingly competitive environment.

Sustainable design and operation

Seeks to examine the principles that enable hospitality operations to deliver sustainability within constraints which that business operates. This includes, delivering the customer experience while contributing to the wider wellbeing agendas of their organisations including work-life balance, sustainable wage levels and reflecting social/business trends.

Comparative study

A residential field study-based module that enables students to make comparative assessments between working practices in their own establishment with those that exhibit good practice either within the UK public services or wider afield. It can discern between different operations and procedures to help them improve the offerings within their own organisation.

Hospitality consultancy project

The opportunity to undertake a piece of primary research and analysis based on the learning received throughout their programme and to enable them to manage their own learning under the guidance of a tutor. Students may choose their own topic within their field of interest or expertise which will demonstrate originality and offer a worthwhile contribution to both the existing body of knowledge and to their employer organisation.


The TUCO master’s degree is a two-year course and offers bespoke learning. The course aims to provide an academic-based and intellectually demanding programme of study within the hospitality discipline. It consists of modules and projects covering the key areas of strategy, marketing, leadership and product innovation, as well as a consultancy project.

It’s a real opportunity to provide critical thinking and knowledge acquisition for managers who wish to further their careers in the hospitality industry. It provides a unique insight into current industry practices. Many hospitality programmes focus primarily on the private sector, but this course focuses on higher education and the public sector. As hospitality becomes increasingly more important to these sectors, the opportunities for management and directorship are increasing.


Student feedback

Ivan Higney, catering manager, Darwin College, the University of Cambridge

“I signed up to do this MA because it is a great opportunity to further my knowledge of hospitality in higher education. For me, a huge advantage is that the course is delivered in blocks rather than semester-based. Therefore, it enables me to continue with my full-time job and study at the same time. As a catering manager, not only has the course helped me to learn more about hospitality in higher education and the public sector but it has given me the tools to deliver new and innovative ideas for my institution.

"During our field trip to studierendenWERK BERLIN (the service provider for the students of the Berlin universities) and the University of Manchester, I was able to make comparisons between operations within those institutions and my own to support the comparative study module. The operations and offering at the University of Manchester were extraordinary. There are 51 outlets, including a pop-up where local businesses came to the campus and provided new and interesting food concepts.”


We were extremely proud to have fully sponsored 10 TUCO members in the first cohort and we are delighted to once again offer a bursary to TUCO members for the 2020 intake too. Bursaries of up to the full amount are available to TUCO full members.

A ‘taster’ day will take place at LSBU on Friday 11 October 2019 for prospective students. Attendees will receive a tour of the campus, meet some of the lecturers who deliver the modules for the course, be given advice on the application process for the course and the bursary. For more information on the taster day and the bursary please contact sarah.mcloughlin@tuco.ac.uk

To find out more about TUCO, please visit: www.tuco.ac.uk or contact Mike Haslin by calling: 0161 713 3421 or emailing: mike.haslin@tuco.ac.uk


Why TUCO’s master’s degree in hospitality leadership?

The course is delivered in blocks rather than a semester-based delivery. This innovative delivery will provide the opportunity for those people in full-time employment to study.

The award-winning TUCO Academy and LSBU staff bring their support and expertise to students’ learning. LSBU were ranked number one in London for research quality in ‘Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism’.

A portion of the programme delivery will be provided remotely through a series of live lectures and tutorials which MA students will take part in using the virtual learning environment Moodle. Some face-to-face delivery will still need to take place at LSBU, including the induction at the beginning of January but this unique opportunity for remote delivery has been created so that members can support their institutions operation while taking advantage of this learning opportunity.

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Our members regularly ask what development opportunities are offered to aspiring directors in hospitality. We saw an excellent opportunity to devise a course for senior managers to further growth in this unique field. A year ago we launched our master’s in hospitality leadership in universities and the public sector, a collaboration between our award-winning TUCO Academy and London South Bank University (LSBU) school of law and social sciences.

Now almost halfway through the two-year course, the MA students have buckled down and worked through the seven modules consisting of product and market trends and drivers, strategy and visioning, hospitality leadership, marketing and merchandising, sustainable design and operation, comparative study and a hospitality consultancy project.

We have followed that journey to date and I am delighted to see the remarkable progress demonstrated in the past nine months. In July, as part of the bespoke learning field trip, a small group of the MA students went to Berlin to visit five university catering locations and then returned to the UK to visit the University of Manchester. They visited three catering sites and two coffee bars in Berlin, each a part of studierendenWERK BERLIN, the service provider for the students of the Berlin universities. They were taken on a tour of the accommodations and the back of house catering operations, which in turn will help them complete part of one module on comparative study.

In Berlin, they saw all catering sites have a traffic light system; green for unlimited eating, amber for eating occasionally and red for those who dine infrequently. Payment is completely cashless in all facilities and, in general, more than 50% of the menus are vegan and vegetarian.

As chair of TUCO, an organisation with significant sustainability values, I’m happy to learn that an increase in plant-based dishes is being adopted internationally.

On 11 October, TUCO will host a master’s taster event at LSBU. Potential students can get more course information, application process guidance and bursary information. We were extremely proud to have fully sponsored 10 TUCO members in the first cohort and we are delighted to once again offer a bursary to TUCO members for the 2020 intake, too. Bursaries of up to 100% of teaching fees are available to TUCO members.

For more information, visit: www.tuco.ac.uk

[post_title] => Development opportunities for hospitality managers [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => development-opportunities-for-hospitality-managers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-13 09:56:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-13 08:56:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=23015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22232 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-07-11 00:00:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-10 23:00:40 [post_content] => Universities often rely on their in-house catering services to provide a surplus for continual investment, yet catering outlets and bars on campus must also offer great value, choice and innovation. So, as caterers, how do we continue to drive commercial success? At TUCO, we take pride in sharing best practice. And one of the ways we do this is through our annual summer TUCO Conference, where we offer valuable knowledge and support for our members and guests. During these events, delegates can learn about new initiatives, research and latest updates to our TUCO Procurement services. ‘Driving commercial success’ is the theme for our upcoming annual TUCO Conference. Hosted by the University of York on 29–31 July, we are excited to showcase our exceptional lineup of speakers and supplier exhibitors. This year, our main stage will be hosted by writer and TV presenter Stefan Gates.  Gates will be joined by keynote speakers Lord Stewart Wood, Justin King, Brad Burton and KD Adamson, to name but a few. Last year, during our TUCO Winter Conference, Wood presented an insightful presentation about Brexit and UK universities. As previous senior special adviser to both prime minister Gordon Brown and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband, he spoke about what was next for higher education after March 2019. He will now return to our summer conference to give us an update on the next phase of Brexit and will talk about the transition, treaties and the impact on higher education in the UK. It is important for us to recognise the outstanding work and achievements by our colleagues and members.  We do this through our TUCO Awards, presented on the last night of the conference. This year, as in previous years, the standards are extremely high, and I am constantly impressed at the achievements made by our sector. At the time of writing, a review of the entire UK food system has been announced by the National Food Strategy. Led by Henry Dimbleby, it sets out to explore and establish a sustainable farm-to-fork strategy. We very much look forward to engaging in this exciting project, and where we can, helping to lead the way on the national agenda.
For conference tickets or more information, visit: www.tuco.ac.uk  [post_title] => TUCO Conference – driving commercial success [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tuco-conference-driving-commercial-success [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-09 09:48:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-09 08:48:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=22232 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22268 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-07-10 00:00:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-09 23:00:13 [post_content] => The awards, which are set to be held on July 31, recognise the achievements and efforts of teams and individuals working across the catering and hospitality sector in HEI.  Now in its third year, the awards include the rising star award, innovation award, sustainability award, team of the year, member of the year and outstanding achievement award.  Nominees for the outstanding achievement award are Bill Brogan of University of Cambridge, Kate Glynn of Aston University, and Jade Willet of University of Lincoln.  Nominees in the rising star category include Annika Cheung of Royal Holloway University, Gary Daly of Queens University Belfast, and Annabel Hurst of Cardiff University.  Aston University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and University of Chester have all been nominated for this year’s sustainability award. The nominees for team of the year are the procurement team at Cardiff University, the hospitality team at Lancaster University, and Eat@Hope at Liverpool Hope University.  The universities shortlisted for TUCO member of the year are University of Kent, University of Manchester and the University of St Andrews.  Matthew White, TUCO chairman said: “Our TUCO Awards are a great opportunity for us to celebrate the outstanding work that our members have achieved throughout the last 12 months and beyond. It is important for us to recognise and show our appreciation for the teams and individuals who go the extra mile at their institutions.”  The ceremony will round off the TUCO conference at the University of York. This year’s theme is ‘driving commercial success’ and the organisers have invited speakers to explore approaches to value for money, choice and innovation. 
You might also like: The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO), has launched its second TUCO Intelligence report on food and drink trends in 2019 [post_title] => TUCO announces 2019 awards finalists [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tuco-announces-2019-awards-finalists [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-20 11:59:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-20 10:59:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=22268 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22097 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2019-06-28 07:38:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-28 06:38:39 [post_content] => The report is designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them, through a collation of leading industry reports. The Q2 report notes Brexit is still a key discussion point and finds foodservice inflation has reached a four year high of 9.8%. The prolonged uncertainty of Brexit has translated into a GDP growth rate of just 0.2% in the 3 months to January 2019. UK inflation fell to a two-year low in January 2019, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 1.8% TUCO CEO Mike Haslin comments: “As things stand, there have been no clearer assurances on life for businesses after Brexit and there is still uncertainty around employment, skills shortages and supply chain.” He continues: “In market trends, vegan and vegetarian food trends continue to rocket with no signs of slowing down. We recently launched our new Vegan and Vegetarian framework to meet demand. According to Mintel, in 2018 the UK overtook Germany to become the world leader in vegan new product development. This year, 250,000 signed up for the Veganuary campaign compared to 168,500 in 2018 and just 3,300 five years ago. What’s more, Kantar estimates that 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans; showing that the idea of a ‘flexitarian’ diet is also growing.” Key market findings include:
  • China’s pig population, the largest in the world, is likely to shrink by almost a third, losing 130m animals as African swine fever ravages the country’s farms. The outbreak will reshape protein markets across the globe, driving up meat prices as China, the leading consumer and producer of pork, braces for years of shortages and disruptions to its food supply. “This has been a game-changer,” says Jais Valeur, group chief executive at Danish Crown, Europe’s leading pork processor. “We’re only starting to see the real impact of African swine fever.” The ASF virus, endemic to Africa, is fatal to pigs and has no cure. The current wave of cases began in Georgia in 2007 and spread to parts of eastern Europe and Russia before reaching China in August. After eight months of Beijing claiming the situation was under control, the crisis has now become undeniable. The Ministry of Agriculture said last week that a preliminary estimate forecasts pork prices to rise more than 70 per cent year on year in the second half of 2019. The sharp drop in China’s pig population has sent shockwaves through the world food industry. Hog futures have leapt in Chicago. Shares of meat companies have soared in São Paulo and New York. US pork sales to China recently hit a record high despite a 62 per cent tariff imposed during the course of the trade war between the countries
  • The craft beer market has seen no- and low- alcohol options grow 381% in the last two years. Nearly 2.5% of all craft beer sold is 2.8% and below. Source: Bites Issue 27
  • UK egg volumes and value rose by 4% in 2018 to surpass the £1billion mark for the first time equating to an additional 240 million eggs consumed over the period. British Lion Eggs suggest that the increased demand for healthier eating and a reduction in meat consumption have been the key drivers for the increase. According to the British Egg Industry Council, latest stats report that the UK is 87% self-sufficient for egg production, which means that we need to import in the region of 1,904 million eggs. Source: Reynolds Harvest Spring Summer issue
TUCO’s procurement service works proactively for its members to help with cost-control. All in-house public sector caterers can join and enjoy member benefits such as helping to drive down prices and drive up quality. Last year, TUCO purchased more than £143million of goods and servics and due to its formidable purchasing power, returned more than £8 million of savings to its members. www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO), has launched its second TUCO Intelligence report on food and drink trends in 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-university-caterers-organisation-tuco-has-launched-its-second-tuco-intelligence-report-on-food-and-drink-trends-in-2019 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-20 11:59:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-20 10:59:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=22097 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22102 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2019-06-28 07:34:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-28 06:34:56 [post_content] => A group of eleven TUCO members, comprising of hospitality and catering professionals from universities across the UK visited US five universities in seven days. These included; the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. Matthew White, chairman of TUCO and study tour attendee said: “Our ‘Residence Life at California’s Top Universities’ study tour was a remarkable experience. It was an amazing opportunity to experience first-hand how university catering is managed in the USA. We found that the main differences were the innovation around the use of technology, and that the UK is slightly ahead with the names of its dining areas. The USA name them the ‘dining common’, compared to the UK, now calling them ‘hall of residence’ or ‘dining room’.” He added, “We also noticed that the furniture styles and the interior design in the USA consisted of a lot of wood and marble, whereas UK dining areas have more ‘customer friendly’ furniture, for example, sofas, poseur tables and armchairs. The UK have introduced more brasseries, coffee bars and cafes, and the USA are still predominantly using grand scale dining halls.” During the visit to Caltech, the group met with the senior dining services team and discovered how they successfully operate a mandatory meal plan system, including a fully stocked kitchen for students to help themselves to snacks from. They were taken on a tour of the facilities, dining rooms, cafes, retail operations and student accommodation which, in a marked difference to the UK, was predominantly shared. Caltech was keen to emphasise the positive benefits which shared accommodation can bring to student’s health and wellbeing and suggested that many students preferred it. Open Door PR. www.opendoorpr.co.uk Registered office: 20 Havelock Road. East Sussex. TN34 1BP At UCLA, the group from TUCO were shown around by host, Al Ferrone UCLA catering services administration, senior director. TUCO members found sustainability and healthy eating at the very heart of their operation. There were various outlets across a modern campus, offering food and beverages with low-calorie values. In one outlet, Bruin Plate, all portions are served on smaller plates to help manage the consumption of calories and raise awareness of different food types. White added: “To encourage a healthy balanced diet, Bruin Plate recommends each plate not to exceed 400 calories. I was impressed to note they also have an onsite designated gluten-free room, demonstrating just how seriously they take their approach to dietary requirements.” TUCO members also learned that at UCLA, they have a strong commitment to working with local suppliers as part of their sustainability aims. Al Farrone said to achieve this, UCLA dining services tries to buy food within a 500-mile radius to keep purchases as local as possible, they look to purchase items from organic and sustainable farms and reduce red meat as much as possible within the menus. They also look for earth-friendly products that are manufactured and delivered with low use of petroleum and oil-based fuels, have recyclable and compost programs, and teach students not to overeat or waste food and to be thoughtful about what they eat. Al Farrone, UCLA catering services administration, senior director and the host at UCLA said: “This tour provided us with a first-time introduction to TUCO. We really enjoyed their company and the opportunity to tour them on our campus. We learned there is not much difference in the needs of students when it comes to dining worldwide.” The executive chef at Bruin Plate explained that his team are now using ‘Trash Fish’ to help use up ‘catch’ which would not normally be sold. The catering team are using the little-known fish in foods such as dips and goujons. Their objective is to increase interest and reduce the impacts of fishing. The healthy eating theme continued across all the universities visited, and delegates spotted salad bars, plant-based dishes, grains and home-grown honey being offered daily. They were also shown how homemade salad dressings, jams and sauces are an excellent way to reduce sugar and sodium intake. In 2012, The Culinary Institute of America introduced ‘Menus of Change’. In collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the significant initiative aims to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond. White shares his thoughts on the encouraging initiative, “The ‘Menus of Change’ campaign was inspiring, and I will be investigating how we can introduce something similar in the UK. We want to influence the future, and now I’m back I can’t wait to share our experiences from this eye-opening tour.” TUCO Study Tours and many of its Development Days aim to support operational activities in catering and hospitality. They also focus on food and drink trends that have been identified particularly in the TUCO Global Food and Beverage Trends Report. The insightful research project is carried out by TUCO and the Food People, and recognise the international nature of universities and colleges in the U.K. To get involved in sharing best practice, TUCO will be holding their annual TUCO Conference on 29th-31st July 2019 at the University of York. For more information, visit www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => 'Trash fish’, gluten free rooms and shared accommodation found by TUCO at California’s top universities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => trash-fish-gluten-free-rooms-and-shared-accommodation-found-by-tuco-at-californias-top-universities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-20 11:59:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-20 10:59:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=22102 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21848 [post_author] => 81 [post_date] => 2019-06-13 14:24:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-13 13:24:59 [post_content] => The membership body for university caterers has run its first plant-based study tour with chefs describing the choice of vegan food as “breathtaking”. The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) holds regular study tours to broaden the horizons of its patrons. To chime with the rising vegan and vegetarian diet trend, the group organised a trip to London.
There are few sectors where demand for plant-based food is as explosive as in universities
William Matier, founder and new business development director at Vegetarian Express which partnered for the tour, said: “There are few sectors where demand for plant-based food is as explosive as in universities.” Rob Doidge, trading head chef at the University of Exeter, said of the tour: “The vast choice of vegan food in London was quite breathtaking. This not only gave us the chance to broaden our horizons in this area of cuisine, it also gave us the chance to meet other caterers from other universities to discuss their viewpoints and the way they cater for their students.” Sarah Mcloughlin, head of academy at TUCO said, “Delegates on the tour were given the opportunity to taste a wide variety of dishes, from street food to formal dining in this increasingly in-demand food choice and they have returned to work inspired with new ideas for their menus.” TUCO plans to run the study tour again in London and Manchester. [post_title] => Vegan tour displays ‘breathtaking’ catering options to university chefs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => vegan-tour-displays-breathtaking-catering-options-to-university-chefs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-13 14:24:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-13 13:24:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=21848 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21701 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-06-13 00:00:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-12 23:00:29 [post_content] => I’m back from our Residence Life at California’s Top Universities study tour, and what a remarkable experience it was. Accompanied by 10 hospitality and catering professionals from universities across the UK, I had an amazing opportunity to experience first-hand how university catering is managed in the USA. Organised by our award-winning TUCO Academy, we visited five universities in seven days. These included the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. During our visit to Caltech, we met with the senior dining services team and discovered how they successfully operate a mandatory meal plan system, including a fully stocked kitchen for students to help themselves to snacks from. We were taken on a tour of the facilities, dining rooms, cafes, retail operations and student accommodation (which, interestingly, was predominantly shared). In a marked difference to the UK, Caltech were keen to emphasise the positive benefits which shared accommodation can bring to students’ health and wellbeing. At UCLA, we found sustainability and healthy eating at the very heart of their operation. There were various outlets across a modern campus, offering food and beverages with low calorie values. In one outlet, Bruin Plate, all portions are served on smaller plates to help manage the consumption of calories and raise awareness of different food types. To encourage a healthy balanced diet, they recommend each plate not to exceed 400 calories. I was impressed to note, they also have an onsite designated gluten-free room, demonstrating just how seriously they take their approach to dietary requirements. As expected, the healthy eating theme continued across all the universities we visited, and we spotted salad bars, plant-based dishes, grains and homegrown honey being offered daily. We were also shown how homemade salad dressings, jams and sauces are an excellent way to reduce sugar and sodium intake. In 2012, the Culinary Institute of America introduced ‘menus of change’. In collaboration with Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the significant initiative aims to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond. The ‘menus of change’ campaign was inspiring, and I will be investigating to see if it can introduce to the UK. We want to influence the future, and now I’m back I can’t wait to share our experiences from this eye-opening tour.
The annual TUCO Conference takes place from 29–31 July 2019 at the University of York. For more information visit www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => California Dreamin’ [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => california-dreamin [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-11 11:34:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-11 10:34:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=21701 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21695 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-06-12 00:00:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-11 23:00:29 [post_content] => TUCO’s collaborative buying experience dates to the 1980s when a group of like-minded individuals from UK universities began benchmarking food prices and were concerned about the variance. The motivation was to achieve greater levels of value for money and equality. Through leveraging the collective spend on a group of universities, the overall cost was reduced. As catering procurement experts, TUCO is a wholly transparent, not-for-profit organisation. Our award-winning full-time CIPS qualified team are dedicated to cutting costs, offering a consistent and efficient buying process. Although we have a strong heritage in the higher and further education sector, working with more than 120 universities and 200 colleges across the UK, we have expanded and now work with more than 40 local authorities and 20 NHS Trusts as well. In the past 12 months, we have enhanced our framework agreements to maximise our members’ combined spend. This year, we were delighted to launch two brand-new frameworks. The first is supply and distribution of specialist vegan and vegetarian food products. The second is a one-stop shop framework for grocery provisions, frozen and chilled foods.  The award-winning TUCO procurement team wanted to create a one-stop shop for its members’ most essential needs. In total, 11 lots are available within the two frameworks. As recognised in our Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2018, the most significant trend during 2017/2018, and perhaps food as a whole, is the move towards plant-based eating.  The new framework specialising in vegan and vegetarian food products supports caterers, enabling them to respond to the increasing demand for a diverse range of meat-free and plant-based products. 
Our members say... Brücks at the University of Edinburgh has been a big hit with customers. Whereas the previous incarnation with its ‘old panini Costa-type model’ had an average spend of £2.90 that has now risen to £3.50 and overall income has risen by 56%. “It’s showing we are developing our offer to meet the needs of this target market. TUCO has done a lot of work on food trends for 18–25-year-olds. Powerful information provided by TUCO’s Food Trends Report has been used to influence how we develop the offer at Brücks.”  Ian Macaulay, assistant director (catering) at University of Edinburgh “By using TUCO frameworks for best price ingredients, listening to our customers and watching the high street, we are able to retain students on campus even in our city centre locations.”  Ivan Hopkins, head of catering and hospitality at Nottingham Trent University “It’s a significant investment by the university. We have taken the opportunity to reposition much closer to what students find in the high street, but we are still priced below the high street and well below regional HE peers.”  Jonathan Hamblett, catering operations director at University of Nottingham
As part of our vision to entrench sustainability within all functions of TUCO, we have worked hard to embed sustainable procurement within all our contracts and framework agreements.  Sustainable procurement means institutions can meet their requirements for goods, services, works and utilities while achieving value for money. Not only does this generate benefits to their organisation, but also to society, the economy and the environment. With 270 suppliers to choose from, TUCO strongly believes in building close relationships with our supply chain to drive efficiencies and service levels.  We have removed many of the traditional barriers to entry for small providers, in terms of financial size and geographic coverage to encourage participation. This has resulted in an increase in budget spend and savings for our members.  More than 80% of TUCO suppliers are classified as micro, small or medium enterprises, and offer great value for money and innovation. Quality assurance is as important as value for money. All our food and drinks suppliers will have been through a rigorous approval process and they are at least third-party accredited. With as much as 80% of the hospitality sector, but only 5% of the education sector using an eProcurement system, the sector is fast catching up to the benefits of online procurement systems. Advantages both in time and money are well documented. It’s estimated benefits of up to 50% can be made in administration savings alone and a further 10% through transparent product pricing. Already purchasing £143m of goods and services for our members through fully compliant framework agreements, we deliver in excess of £8m in savings per annum through our digital services.  Our revolutionary web-based procurement system, TUCO Online, provides a solution for procurement to manage and control supplier trading relationships. This dynamic online purchasing portal allows caterers to take control of their operation, with key features including live pricing, goods receipting, invoice reconciliation, purchase-to-pay, variance reporting, nutritional data and gross profit analysis. It also provides recipe costings, menu engineering, flash reporting, stock management, waste management and an interactive dashboard. Furthermore, our procurement services offer a further competitions service. This beneficial service provides tailored buying support to further drive down prices. Members can create a bespoke basket of goods relevant to their individual needs to secure added value for their procurement frameworks.  Our procurement team use their specialist knowledge to provide catering insight, mini competitions, data and research to ensure members are receiving the best prices. It empowers caterers to secure added value for their procurement frameworks. To support our procurement development, our team of category managers produce TUCO Intelligence reports. These quarterly reports gather market analysis and up-to-date food and beverage trends. Ultimately, the aim is to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting university catering operations.
To find out more about TUCO and its procurement services, please visit: www.tuco.ac.uk or contact Mike Haslin, CEO by calling: 0161 713 3421 or emailing: mike.haslin@tuco.ac.uk  [post_title] => Revolutionising procurement [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => revolutionising-procurement [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-11 09:49:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-11 08:49:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=21695 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21271 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-05-22 00:00:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-21 23:00:13 [post_content] => “You can read books and watch videos about Vietnamese and Cambodian food but only going there helps you truly understand. The inspiration and knowledge from the tour is priceless,” said one delegate who attended our Vietnam and Cambodia study tour in 2018. Learning first-hand about where cuisines come from and experiencing real life cooking demonstrations are key to the success of our award-winning TUCO Academy. Our inspirational study tours and development days aim to focus on food and drink trends, most of which have been identified in our Global Food and Beverage Trends Reports. One of our latest study tours, to Lisbon, saw a group of university and college catering professionals sample authentic Portuguese lifestyle and cuisine. During their visit delegates dined in Lisbon’s downtown, an art deco mansion in busy Bairro Alto, and traditional pubs and cafes. Upon arrival, delegates experienced the first of authentic cuisines at Bistro 100 Maneiro. The white-walled restaurant served painterly plates with Portuguese, Yugoslavian, Italian and French influences. Since it opened in 2010, the restaurant has attracted a growing audience, which favours taste, discovery and experience. Born from the original 100 Maneiras, which was the first in the capital to serve a tasting menu at a democratic price, its history and success story are a motive to experience the award-winning menu. During the study tour, delegates also had the opportunity to visit and dine at Lisbon’s largest market, Mercado da Ribeira. With stalls trading in fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers since 1892, this domed market hall contains 20 to 30 restaurants, which are home to a variety of meals provided by top Lisbon chefs. Through our TUCO banner - Learn – we want to support you and help your teams achieve success. From catering and hospitality professionals to directors of accommodation and commercial service and heads of campus services, the TUCO Academy offers courses to suit various levels of learning and development. As I pen this, I am currently on our Residence Life at California’s Top Universities study tour. So far, we have visited universities such as the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles. I highly recommend you book on to one of our inspirational study tours or development days. Our next study tour in London, On Trend - Vegan and Vegetarian, sold out very quickly. Don’t miss the chance to book on to the Bologna Barista Tour in Italy, taking place on 10th June 2019.
For more information about joining TUCO, visit www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => Combining experience and study [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => combining-experience-and-study [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-15 10:37:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-15 09:37:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=21271 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21259 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-05-16 00:00:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-15 23:00:38 [post_content] => TUCO Competitions is one of our biggest annual events, and last year celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since it was established in 1993, each year more than 150 entrants from across the UK take part in the competitions. It’s an opportunity for college and university caterers to showcase their extraordinary breadth and range of hospitality skills. Derived from our TUCO banner –Learn – TUCO Competitions is organised by our award-winning TUCO Academy and supported by our partners and members. Our reputable competitions include the popular bar skills competition, barista skills challenge, chefs’ challenge, cook and serve challenge and the exclusive salon culinaire. Each year, we present challenges relating to the current student eating and drinking habits. Hospitality, in the further and higher education market, is an innovative and diverse environment. One which delivers not just student food but also best-in-class fine dining to corporations and VIPs. Our competitions are a real opportunity for caterers to present distinctive menu ideas and produce dishes with fine dining qualities. This year, to promote diversity and variety, we introduced two brand-new competitions. The first, a photography challenge for the Instagram savvy competitor. And the second, a grab and go challenge. This competition was introduced in response to students’ busy lifestyles, which have led to an explosion in the popularity of grab and go meals and snacks. With more and more consumers looking for healthy, fast food options, the new grab and go challenge saw competitors share their creative side. In line with our sustainability values, competitors could only use sustainable or disposable containers and wrappers for this challenge. Delegates were presented with a variety of inspiring dishes which were all suitable for a university grab and go outlet. Our Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2018 found nearly six in ten (58 per cent) of consumers aged 18-34 said they like to take pictures to share on social media. The new photography challenge enabled photographers with a good eye for natural, colourful food, the opportunity to express their passion in food photography. They did this by capturing images of chefs in action during the cook and serve challenge and captured still life shots of beautifully plated dishes. For many entrants, TUCO Competitions is a completely new experience. A unique platform to share innovative ideas and learn from industry influencers. Our carefully selected panel of competition judges are a significant part of our objective to give competitors valuable feedback, whether it be positive or negative. From this, competitors acquire new, or modify existing, knowledge, skills and preferences. A view from the judge’s panel “The main objective of starting the Competitions all those years ago was to help show off the calibre of staff working in the university sector and to give the chefs the opportunity to network and develop their skills. The competition continues to grow, helping to keep chefs abreast of food trends and where the industry is at today. One of the results of this has been that talented chefs from within the industry have successfully moved over into the university sector, which in turn has helped to lift standards and aspirations even higher.” Peter Griffiths, president of the British Culinary Federation and head of the chef’s panel of judges “The Craft Guild of Chefs believe that competitions are key to the development of skills and careers. This sector is producing some great chefs and it is fitting that many institutions are at the forefront of industry events throughout the year. We hope to see university chefs competing in the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year in the coming years.” Andrew Bennet, chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs and chef’s competitions judge
To help support chefs thinking about choosing a career in higher education, TUCO has developed an interactive career map, which is free to use and available on our website at www.tuco.ac.uk/learn/career-map. For more information about TUCO visit www.tuco.ac.uk [post_title] => University caterers triumph at TUCO Competitions [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => university-caterers-triumph-at-tuco-competitions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-15 09:48:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-15 08:48:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=21259 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [22] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20280 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-02-19 14:10:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-19 14:10:10 [post_content] => Have you got what it takes to compete against the very best in university catering? Whether you’re a chef, waiter, barista, bartender or even if you like to bake in your spare time, I am delighted to tell you our annual TUCO Competitions are back for 2019. As ever, they challenge university caterers to put their talent and skills to the test. To promote diversity and variety, this year we have introduced two brand-new competitions, a photography challenge and a grab-and-go challenge. Both of these are relevant to current student eating and drinking habits, along with emerging trends. The new photography challenge is perfect for the Instagram-savvy catering operation seeking picture-perfect food and drink. In our Global Food and Beverage Trends report 2018, it found we want quality, nutritious food, but visual display is important, too. The report found nearly six in ten (58%) of consumers aged 18–34 said they like to take pictures to share on social media and, with that in mind, this competition will showcase photographers with a good eye for natural, colourful food. Fast food healthy options Last year, our Student Eating and Drinking Habits report found many university-based catering outlets are used between 10am and 2pm, in which case consumers are likely to look for healthy, fast food options. The brand-new grab-and-go competition challenges caterers to deliver two plates of a hot savoury dish using a bread or dough-based carrier, along with two plates of an allergy-free dessert. These dishes must be suitable for a university grab-and-go outlet. In line with our sustainability values, all competitors must use sustainable or disposable containers and wrappers. These new challenges will run alongside our established competitions including our popular bar skills competition, barista skills challenge, chefs’ challenge, cook and serve challenge and our exclusive salon culinaire. Best in class Catering for universities puts us in a unique position. During term time we cater for students from across the globe, and when terms closes, we provide best-in-class hospitality to blue chip companies and all manner of private and corporate clients. It’s an extremely broad range of skills required and if we consider the evolution of food and beverage trends in the last few years, the expectation for tasty, quality meals and excellent hospitality services has never been higher. Our prestigious TUCO Competitions take place on 26 and 27 March at the University of Warwick. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information, visit www.tuco.ac.uk/component/zoo/item/welcome-2019 [post_title] => Challenging caterers to work with new trends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => challenging-caterers-to-work-with-new-trends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-06 09:37:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-06 09:37:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=20280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [23] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20119 [post_author] => 78 [post_date] => 2019-02-15 10:15:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-15 10:15:58 [post_content] => The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has collaborated with The Oxford Cultural Collective to launch its brand-new research ‘Hospitable Campus’. The publication signifies TUCO’s intention to start a national conversation about ways in which on-campus hospitality can make positive contributions to student wellbeing. Some of the key learnings from the research are:
  • Front-line hospitality staff can elicit powerful emotional responses from students – both positive and negative. In addition, they can (where appropriate) assume informal pastoral roles, listening to and responding empathetically to students’ needs.
  • It is increasingly the case that universities require all staff, no matter their roles, to assume collective responsibility for student wellbeing. It is reasonable, therefore, that in-house caterers should prioritise the need for employees to make positive contributions to student wellbeing. This is likely to be more achievable for in-house caterers than for teams employed or managed by outsourced companies.
  • Reflecting a belief that meaningful interaction with students enriches their lived experience and helps to create a community spirit, a key aim is to personalise service across all the university's cafés and halls of residence.
The research comprises four case studies, and key take-homes are: University of Manchester
  • A defining characteristic of the student body at the University of Manchester is its cultural diversity. While catering outlets cannot satisfy all tastes, serving food representing a wide range of nations and cultural backgrounds does signify an appreciation of the value of diversity and a conscious desire to be inclusive.
Harper Adams University
  • Proactively encouraging and supporting students to form special interest societies strengthens community spirit. Recent examples include the new Veterinary Society, and others focused on yoga, cinema and dog-walking.
The University of St Andrews
  • Student feedback is used actively to shape catering provision and students are informed about how their feedback has been used.
The University of Huddersfield
  • The catering operations manager sits on a Student Forum, hosted by the Students’ Union, the members of which represent multiple nationalities and cultural groups. Open and ongoing dialogue informs catering provision that responds to the diverse needs of the entire student body.
Matthew White, chair of TUCO comments on the research: “As sector leaders, we are challenged to sharpen our thinking on student mental health and wellbeing and provide support through dedicated initiatives. With an estimated 171 cultural representations in further and higher education, it is important for us to promote and support a positive community atmosphere. “We are excited to launch this relevant piece of research and wish for all our institutions to embed positive initiatives within their catering and hospitality services, to influence student wellbeing. We believe the power of good food, drink and hospitality can help promote a sense of inclusion, community and belonging.” See the research in full at www.tuco.ac.uk/grow/tuco-research   [post_title] => Promoting a sense of community through good food [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => promoting-a-sense-of-community-through-good-food [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-20 12:12:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-20 11:12:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=20119 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [24] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19749 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-01-31 14:51:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-31 14:51:42 [post_content] => A quarter of the 9,000-strong student body at the University of St Andrews live in full-board university accommodation, with weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner provided. Why is that important? Because promoting and supporting a positive community atmosphere is a shared responsibility.  And with students’ positive mental health and wellbeing now a key priority for UK universities and colleges, we believe the power of good food, drink and hospitality can help promote a sense of inclusion, community and belonging. St Andrews was one of the case studies we put forward in Hospitable Campus, the research TUCO launched at its Winter Conference 2018. The message is continuously reinforced that students are the lifeblood of the university, and that their health and happiness is the key to success and building a global reputation. Residential and Business Services, which employs 350 staff at St Andrews, is responsible for student accommodation, catering and conferences. Training and development are being established to ensure its catering and hospitality provisions becomes even more attuned to the needs of the culturally diverse student population, a cultural change project has been launched and a cultural change manager appointed. A key aim is to create a welcoming and secure environment and to actively support students’ wellbeing. How? By building strong relationships with students through daily interactions, routine and menus that have been developed to reflect modern lifestyles. Student feedback is used actively to shape catering provision. Hospitable Campus, produced in collaboration with the Oxford Cultural Collective, demonstrates our intention to start a national conversation about ways in which on-campus hospitality can make positive contributions to student wellbeing. Further case studies were supplied by the University of Manchester, the University of Huddersfield and Harper Adams University. With an estimated 171 cultural representations in further and higher education, there is a lot of ground to cover. We recommend caterers think strategically and communicate their intentions clearly, committing to supporting student welfare. Even in commercial environments, where the depth of interactions is limited, hospitality staff can elicit powerful emotional responses. Ultimately, the aim is to generate a sense of community. By focusing on the intended outcomes of hospitality provision, communicating an upbeat message about the value of inclusion and community, and by stimulating positive emotional responses, we can challenge ourselves to embed a culture of life-enhancing hospitality. Hospitable Campus – foodservice management and student wellbeing research is available at www.tuco.ac.uk/grow/tuco-research [post_title] => Hospitality plays a principal role in student wellbeing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => hospitality-plays-a-principal-role-in-student-wellbeing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-20 12:12:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-20 11:12:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=19749 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [25] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19228 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2019-01-23 00:00:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-23 00:00:03 [post_content] => We can all agree that we had some fantastic weather this summer, but what consequences will this have on food supply? We’ve just released our latest TUCO Intelligence food and drinks trends report, a series of reports designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them. In Q3, the report found the extended bad weather at the start of the year, followed by the extended hot spell in summer across the UK and Europe was widely expected to result in a poor fruit and vegetable yield. It predicted the fluctuation in temperature would also affect the production of dairy, eggs, fish, seafood and alcohol. In our Q4 intelligence report, it was found the production of maize, cooking oil, fish, alcohol and dairy are still a worry. This year’s weather conditions have put stress on farming costs and yields. Butter prices increased 50% in the first half of the year and remain higher than expected, while rapeseed oil crop is expected to be 10% down and North Sea cod prices rose in the summer by approximately 20%. Brexit adds to the concern, with many caterers discussing contingency plans and whether it is necessary to stockpile food in preparation for any potential delays and shortages that could result if no agreement is reached by March 2019. According to the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) latest business confidence survey, it revealed that more than a third (38%) of food manufacturers surveyed are reporting an increase in costs as a result of stockpiling. It is for caterers to monitor, and we can help, as our professional procurement team can ease pressure by continuing to ensure our members receive best value for money in today’s market. We never sit still at TUCO, and I am delighted to share the news that TUCO won ‘Procurement Team of the Year’ award at this year’s Foodservice Cateys. It was a great event, and the procurement team thoroughly deserved it for all their hard work and new initiatives they launched this year. Congratulations to the team! TUCO Intelligence food and drinks trends reports are available to view at: www.tuco.ac.uk/grow/tuco-research [post_title] => Extreme weather affects key commodity areas [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => extreme-weather-affects-key-commodity-areas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-22 11:22:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-22 11:22:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://universitybusiness.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=19228 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 26 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29556 [post_author] => 82 [post_date] => 2020-03-22 00:00:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-22 00:00:50 [post_content] =>

With students’ positive mental health and welfare a key priority for universities and colleges, it is crucial that TUCO puts wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.

One of our goals, as the leading professional membership for in-house caterers, is to help generate a positive community atmosphere through good food, drink and hospitality. It is our responsibility to help to create a welcoming and secure environment for students while supporting their wellbeing.

This has always been a key focus for us. In 2018, TUCO produced a report that signified the organisation’s intention to start a national conversation among its members about ways in which on-campus hospitality can make a positive contribution to student wellbeing. In response to this, we are aiming to launch a digital Mental Health Toolkit, a new scheme that seeks to make a difference to the lives of university students. The idea is that it will provide support to members who are at the forefront of a university’s catering team to help identify students who may be struggling with university life.

Staff will be taught to look out for red flags that can be passed onto a university’s welfare team. They will also be encouraged to carry out ‘small acts of kindness’, which could be as simple as asking a student how their day is going, for example, or giving the student a free coffee.

The toolkit will also offer members ideas on how to encourage healthy eating which, as we all know, can have a positive impact on wellbeing. Many universities now offer a retail environment which is a step in the right direction; however, we still must be encouraging students to make healthy choices.

But it is a shared responsibility. We urge our industry and institutions to include positive schemes within their catering services to influence student wellbeing.

We are not asking staff to become experts, but more to be involved with students on a daily basis. This puts them in a unique position to identify red flags. It also demonstrates to a student that there is someone to talk to and someone looking out for them – even if it is to point them in the direction of support.

As sector leaders, we will continue to promote and support a positive community atmosphere through dedicated initiatives such as our toolkit but, ultimately, we believe it all comes down to good food, drink and hospitality that can create that feeling of inclusion, community and belonging.

So, let’s work together to make it happen. 


www.tuco.ac.uk

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Suppliers

TUCO

Tel: 0161 713 3420
What we do

TUCO is the leading professional membership body for higher and further education caterers. Under our four cornerstones of Share, Learn, Buy and Grow we support our members through:

  • the sharing of best practice
  • skills development opportunities
  • the power of group purchasing / sourcing
  • insight and research-driven innovation and advice

Membership is open to individuals and institutions working within the public sector. We offer three classes of membership: Full, Associate and Affiliate.

Click here for details on how to join us.

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