Set to take place later this month (23-25 July), The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) is preparing for its annual conference at the University of Hull (Yorkshire).

With a jam-packed programme centred around this year’s theme: ‘yesterday, today, tomorrow,’ the three-day event will offer caterers and foodservice professionals “knowledge, inspiration and exposure to new product innovation.”

Chair Matthew White commented: “We are very excited to hold the TUCO Conference at the University of Hull this year.

“Our summer conference is the biggest event on the TUCO calendar and this year is set to be the biggest yet.

“We will showcase a wide range of influential speakers, a supplier exhibition and dedicated workshops designed to drive learning, development and product innovation.
“Ultimately our aim is for delegates to go back to their institutions with practical knowledge and inspiration after their conference experience.”

Alongside keynotes from four speakers (including broadcaster and former MP, Alan Johnson; author Dr Andy Cope; and Wilfred Ennanuel-Jones), delegates will be able to choose from a selection of interactive seminars on topics such as plant-based catering, waste management and the challenges of the UK food system.

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Before becoming a producer/director for the BBC, Emmanuel-Jones worked as a chef, commenting: “Catering is a really important passion of mine and I’m really looking forward to talking about my journey from a poor boy in Birmingham to becoming a business success and what people need to consider on their journey to succeed.

“I think foodservice is changing at a fast speed. Consumers really do care about where their food comes from.

“Traditionally, foodservice has gone down the route of price without really considering how the produce is produced or how animals are kept, and I think that that is not going to be the case in the future.

“It’s an exciting time. More and more people want good quality food.”

TUCO will also launch its money-saving ‘Further Competition Service’ which, alongside its procurement service, will offer full members the opportunity to get “more value from their framework agreements and provide one-on-one support to really drive down prices further.”