Behind the Headlines

Analysis, comment and opinion on the news headlines within the foodservice industry

Unpacking the problem with life cycle analyses

Companies are desperate to understand which packaging materials have the lowest environmental impact, but are life cycle analyses being manipulated and misused to present skewed results? By David Burrows Huhtamaki’s new life cycle analysis (LCA) research comparing different types of cups makes some pretty bold claims. This one in particular stands out: “In most everyday…
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Greenwash: the dirty word is back

In the post-Blue Planet era of anti-plastic sentiment, dubious claims regarding biodegradability and sustainability are on the rise, finds David Burrows. But are companies being crafty or just confused? Last year, Ancol Pet Products ran the following claim on its website for a product it was selling: "Refill Poop Bag Rolls … These thick waste…
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GLASS HALF FULL: meals matched and ingredients tracked

Our latest roundup of worthy initiatives features two smaller players with a big appetite for making a difference. Transparency tracker. The threat to food safety posed by Brexit is well known to policy makers who are busy scrambling to plug gaps once the UK loses full access to EU risk management systems. One Cotswolds supermarket…
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Plastics package: polls apart and stirring trouble

UKHospitality seeks a delay on stirrers ban, recycling rates are on the up – and our inbox is swamped by surveys. By David Burrows. Here at the Package we have been considering a ban – a ban on consumer polls about plastic. Please do keep sending them – the “stats” give us a chuckle of…
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Is the UK’s packaging recycling up to scratch?  

The National Audit Office has raised serious questions over possible fraud and error in the government’s scheme. By Nick Hughes. The true scale of the UK’s packaging recycling has once again come into question after an inquiry by the National Audit Office (NAO). This week, the NAO released a report in which it cast doubt…
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Labour abuse: pleading ignorance may no longer be enough

All businesses should take warning after threats of tough action to tackle the shocking scale of exploitation. By Nick Hughes. Abuse of labour is not an issue that makes the daily agenda of most companies. But every so often a story breaks that makes even the most reputable business ask: “Could this happen to me?”…
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Gender pay data shows foodservice top of the class

Ours is the most equal of any British sector – but the big players in particular still have work to do. By Nick Hughes. The results are in and for foodservice there is reason to feel a degree of satisfaction over the gap between what men and women working in the sector are paid. Analysis…
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Can Brexit put Britain on a diet?

The Royal Society of Arts is asking big questions about the future of our food as leaving the EU offers the chance of a radical shake-up. By David Burrows. The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) suggested this month that just one of the 28 portions of fruit and veg…
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Slavery continues to cast a long shadow

A new report has found that major companies including food and hospitality businesses are failing to address the problem, writes Nick Hughes. Businesses are not properly engaging with the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains. That’s the blunt conclusion of a new report which uncovers a worrying lack of transparency in the supply…
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Big food: beautiful or beastly?

As the EU considers a planned merger between Bayer and Monsanto, campaigners are questioning whether such deals are good for ethics, innovation or the environment. By David Burrows. In September 2016, German pharmaceuticals firm Bayer and US seed producer Monsanto announced a “definitive merger agreement”. The $66 billion (£50 billion) deal would provide “significant and…
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