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Posted in Uncategorized by foodservicefootprint on April 29, 2010

Convotherm wins Gulfood Award for best Ecological Initiative

Posted in Equipment,News,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on March 10, 2010

The new Convotherm EcoCooking mode, which was launched in the UK at Hotelympia, has won the Gulfood Award for the best ecological initiative. Manitowoc launched their new eco friendly Convotherm ovens at this years Hotelympia with great success, and this award is a testament to the significant energy savings that can now be achieved.

The new EcoCooking Mode has been designed to reduce energy usage by up to 25% and will be added as a standard to all models from 2010. With increased energy prices continuing to burden commercial kitchens, the idea of saving 25% on energy consumption is a highly attractive prospect and an something that should not be ignored.

The operation system is quite simple as it is both easy and brilliant; the integrated Advanced Closed Systems keeps almost all the heat inside the chamber and does not allow it to escape while cooking. This new feature uses pre-programmed pulses of energy to maintain the required temperature, rather than keeping the power going throughout cooking. The food itself continues to cook by using the residual heat to prolong cooking and achieve the perfect result, even in the shortest amount of time.

This new feature not only saves energy, but actually improves the quality of many cooked food products such as roast meats, making them much more tender and reducing waste loss.


Posted in Equipment,Food Miles,Foodservice Footprint news,Logistics,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on February 21, 2010

Michelle Hanson and Max Harris at the launch
On the subject of transport savings, Footprint attended the launch of an electric vehicle initiative on Friday.

A joint venture between foodservice operators Bunzl Catering Supplies and Sodexo sees the launch of the CO2 emissions-free and noise-free vehicle as part of continued sustainable distribution initiatives developed by the two businesses. Seeing it run, one could whistfully imagine the difference to noise levels if all vehicles were similar.

The 7.5 tonne light-goods vehicle, which will make its first official delivery on March 1st 2010, will have a range of up to 130 miles and a top speed of around 50mph. Drivers will be able to ‘refuel’ by recharging the vehicle at any standard three-phase socket. A day’s usage will cost ten per cent of the cost of fuel used by a conventional vehicle coveringthe same distance.

The vehicle was officially launched by Jim Haywood, Director of Environment Impact at Business in the Community (BITC), alongside Michelle Hanson, Commercial Director Sodexo UK and Ireland, and Max Harris, Operations & Regional Sales Director at Bunzl Catering Supplies. Both Sodexo and Bunzl are members of the BITC’s Mayday Network on Climate Change, the UK’s largest coalition of businesses that have committed to take action on climate change.


Posted in Foodservice Footprint news,Logistics,News by foodservicefootprint on February 21, 2010

International food and grocery expert, IGD has announced today that 124million HGV miles have been taken off UK roads as part of its Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) UK Sustainable Distribution initiative.

The miles saved initiative has exceeded its four year target of removing 120million road miles by the end of 2010, a year early – the equivalent of removing 2000 lorries from Britain’s roads – and conserving 60 million litres of diesel fuel per year.

Originally spearheaded by companies involved in ECR UK under the auspices of the IGD, the activities have been extended across the industry and now includes 40 of the UK’s leading household retailer and manufacturer brands. Engaging in initiatives such as the use of double-deck vehicles and the sharing of lorries to deliver grocery products, these companies are significantly reducing the environmental impact of transporting food and groceries in the UK.

Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD comments: “This is an outstanding achievement. Sustainability remains top of the agenda for both the food industry and the Government. This successful initiative demonstrates that even in a highly competitive industry, companies remain committed to minimising environmental impact, meeting consumer demands, and at the same time reducing costs.

“This innovative and efficient way of working could shape the way we transport food and grocery items in the future. ”

Chris Tyas, Business Services & Group Supply Chain Director, UK & Ireland, Nestlé comments: “One quarter of lorries on our roads are still estimated to be running empty on their way back from delivering goods. This offers huge scope for more companies of all sizes to implement similar activities, potentially saving millions more road miles in the UK.

“ECR UK continues to be the collaborative forum helping companies to secure high performance from its operations. Despite the recessionary environment we have seen companies come together to collaborate and make a real difference to the environment.”

The road miles saved have been generated through a mix of best practice internal projects and external partnerships between retailers and suppliers. IGD has helped to contribute towards the miles saved by providing the industry with a suite of online resources designed to capture and share best practice across the supply chain. These resources can be found at

Global tea brand Tetley adds Rainforest Alliance certification

Posted in 1,Foodservice Footprint news,International,News,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on February 17, 2010

Tetley, the world’s second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea, has today announced its decision to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification for the Tetley brand globally.

Tetley has committed to purchasing all of the tea for its branded teabag and loose tea products from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms. All Tetley branded black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, including flavoured and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the certification programme, which is scheduled for completion by 2016.

The first certified products will be available for the UK foodservice channel from April 2010. Tetley products sourced from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms will then become more widely available in the UK and Canada early in 2011, followed by launches in other key markets including the US, Australia and mainland Europe from 2012.

Given its presence in 70 countries around the world, Tetley’s commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification is a significant move for the global tea industry that will have a wide-reaching and positive impact across the brand’s global supply chains. The collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will empower and support growers to proactively address and manage the social and environmental challenges they face. Tea producers in all the major tea-growing regions will benefit.

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ have met the environmental, social, and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.

Tetley is one of the brands of the Tata Beverage Group. CEO, Peter Unsworth, said, “Our consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite Tetley blend knowing it has been produced in a way that respects the environment and the tea growers and pickers. We are delighted to be working with the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network who are well positioned to support a brand with the scale and reach of Tetley”.

Responding to Tetley’s announcement, Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance said, “We welcome this commitment from Tetley wholeheartedly. Tea farmers have faced many challenges, but working together we can make industry-wide changes to ensure positive environmental and social practices, and give consumers what they really want – reassurance that their cup of tea benefits both farmers and the land.”

Tetley remain active members of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), whose existing programme and collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help facilitate the launch of Tetley certified products.

Sally Uren, Deputy CEO of Forum for the Future commented, “We have worked with Tetley for eight years, helping them bring sustainability to the heart of their business. Their plans with the Rainforest Alliance are evidence of a deep commitment to delivering a great product in a sustainable way. By doing the right thing for growers, pickers and the environment, Tetley is signalling its long term vision of helping create a sustainable global tea industry”.

Unilever embracing the principles of sustainability?

Posted in Comment,Economics,International by foodservicefootprint on January 31, 2010

Foodservice Footprint recently suggested that business leaders should be aware of the bigger picture and not succumb to ‘path dependency’. We were thus delighted to hear Paul Polman, the chief executive of Unilever, argue along similar lines, by making an impassioned plea at a session in Davos to ignore demands of short-term shareholders and lead from the front on sustainability and climate change.

Mr Polman joined Unilever a year ago and has had an eye on the long-term success of the business and not merely on shareholder value. According to The Times ‘this required him to take costly actions to ensure it had a sustainable business, for example in terms of palm oil supplies’. Mr. Polman commented ‘We want to be in business for the next 500 years’. Has Unilever grasped the principles of sustainability?

Pig Business!

Posted in Comment,News,Provenance,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on January 31, 2010

Marchioness ‘Tracy’ of Worcester invited MP’s at Westminster to see her hard-hitting film Pig Business, which challenges the pork industry and campaigns for pig welfare, with the support of Zac Goldsmith, Tom Parker Bowles and actress Miranda Richardson.

Worcester told the Evening Standard ‘Until there is a mandatory country of origin and welfare label on pork, I believe we must ban the import of animals that are produced to a lower standard’.

Foodservice Footprint awaits eagerly to hear whether Pig Business has a similar impact to The End of The Line and makes a true measurable difference.

Northern Ireland vs. Northern Italy

Posted in Comment,Food Miles,Government,International by foodservicefootprint on January 31, 2010

Whilst locked in emergency talks at the Stormont Assembly, I was surprised to see Gordon Brown, in a natural-resource rich region like Northern Ireland help himself to an Italian water brand in a cabinet office.

Another ‘Dodgy Dossier’?

Posted in Comment by foodservicefootprint on January 24, 2010

With the Sunday papers full of the news that the IPCC has begrudgingly withdrawn another of its wilder claims – that of the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 -the rumble of climate change ‘deniers’ grows louder by the minute.

The story here is that the 2035 claim was made originally in a paper by a Dr.Syed Hasnain who works for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) of which IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri happens to be Director General. It now turns out, according to Dr Murari Lal, the co-ordinating lead author on the asian section of the IPCC 2007 report, that the authors were aware the statement was unsound, but kept it in because ‘We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action’.

Does anyone see a parallel with the 45 minutes scenario currently under discussion in the Iraq enquiry?

That aside, this is yet another own goal by the IPCC following the manipulated data scenario in the autumn. What is worrying is that the more these stories emerge, the more they will enflame public cynicism towards the whole environmental issue and that, in many minds, includes the very real issues of sustainability facing the world at large and the food industry in particular.

Oh to be a forecaster…

Posted in Comment by foodservicefootprint on January 24, 2010

When I was young our summer seaside holiday was spent on the east Northumbrian coast. The weather was generally iffy to say the least and our method of forecasting was to hang seaweed outside the door which was remarkably accurate.

Today our weather forecasts are the result of rather more sophisticated, highly intricate and extremely expensive computer models, so we should perhaps expect even higher levels of accuracy.  

Not so.  ‘Barbeque summer’, the Met Office said, winter ‘milder and wetter than average’. Poor chaps – they just can’t get it right can they. Where do they get their data from? Surprise surprise … the same computer models as are used to predict climate change … the one’s recently discredited as being manipulated to suit certain vested interest. Funny that…

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