TUCO, Brakes & Hobart team up to reduce conference food wastage

In a bid to find innovative ways for tackling food wastage at their events, The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has collaborated with Brakes – one of Europe’s leading foodservice suppliers - and Hobart, to deliver surplus stock from its supplier exhibition to a local shelter, The Crossings in Hull at this year’s TUCO Conference.

Cathy Amos, senior sector development and marketing manager at Brakes liaised with TUCO and Marie Mallinson service manager at The Crossings to arrange for the delivery to be made yesterday, once the conference closes.

Amos said, “Wastage has been a major concern of mine for quite some time especially at the end of conferences where we see loads of food left with no means of getting it to people who could make good use of it.

'We are all so fortunate to work with lovely food in an amazing fast paced and innovative market place, many people are far less fortunate. With a bit of time, energy and commitment from our peers we can ensure that the surplus can be redirected to offer others the chance to eat some great food.

'Places like The Crossings exist in every town, so I am delighted that by making a few calls we can reduce the wastage from the TUCO conference and redirect it to help other people.”

Matthew White, Chair of TUCO added, “As an organisation we are always looking for innovative ways to reduce food wastage, therefore, are delighted to have the opportunity to send the surplus stock from our exhibition to Hull’s local hostel, The Crossings. It is a no brainer really. The scheme does amazing things to help the homeless and unemployed. When Cathy approached us with her plans, we were happy to support her.”

The Crossings, run by housing association Riverside, is short-term supported accommodation to help people who are homeless, and provide support and guidance to enable residents to move towards living independently in their own home. Staff also help people access education, training, volunteering and employment opportunities.

Marie Mallinson, Riverside’s service manager at The Crossings which provides accommodation for up to 46 residents, said, “This is a very generous and thoughtful gesture by TUCO and Brakes. We are pleased that our residents will benefit from the donated food and they will appreciate being thought of.

'As well as providing supported accommodation, we also organise different activities at the scheme including cookery classes where residents can learn all about eating a nutritious and balanced diet, which gives them the life skills to live independently. This leftover produce will allow them to prepare tasty dishes together for everyone to enjoy.”

For the duration of the three-day conference, a Brakes truck was onsite for exhibitors to store their chilled and frozen stock, ensuring the temperature integrity of the food.

Suppliers loaded their surplus stock on to the truck once the exhibition closed at 2pm yesterday. They were advised that all donated chilled and frozen goods must have a minimum three-day shelf life on them. This truck has then delivered the stock to The Crossings that same afternoon.