Behind the Headlines

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

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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M&S: the big sustainability push

With single-use packaging in politicians’ sights, the retailer’s circular economy lead talks to Footprint about plans to cut waste to zero. By David Burrows. It’s 14 months since Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched his offensive against the coffee shop chains and single-use coffee cups. Starbucks, Costa and Nero bore the brunt of the celebrity chef’s ire, but…
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UK food waste strategies don’t measure up

Westminster’s plans aren’t good enough to even be included in a major global study, writes Nick Hughes. How do approaches to tackling food waste in the UK compare with other countries? The answer is not very favourably, unless you live in Scotland. In fact, government plans to tackle food waste in England were not even…
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Cereal firms are still stopped at the red light

Many manufacturers are still shying away from colour-coded nutrition labels. Could Brexit force them out of hiding, asks David Burrows. In June 2013 the UK government launched a new front-of-pack (FOP) label that combined red, amber and green colour-coding with nutritional information showing how much salt, fat, saturated fat and sugar and how many calories…
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Is Fairtrade fair game?

Sainsbury’s has suffered a PR fiasco after ditching the label on some of its teas – but there are legitimate questions about whether the certification scheme works. By David Burrows. Joanna Blythman – the self-proclaimed “thorn in the flesh” of the processed food industry and supermarkets – used her regular column in the Grocer this month to…
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