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Welsh food supplier and contract caterer launch ‘sustainable food chain’ collaboration

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Castell Howell Foods is collaborating with Wales’ largest independent contract caterer, Just Perfect Catering Ltd, to devise a lower carbon menu – and create a sustainability blueprint for suppliers and customers.

Working with Castell Howell suppliers – Authentic Curry, Llaeth Y Llan, Radnor Hills and Celtic Pride Premium Beef – the initiatve will also focus on other elements of sustainability in the supply chain, such as biodiversity and nature stewardship, community engagement and reduction of plastics.

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The need to rise to these challenges has been recognised by the Welsh Government, which in 2020 launched the Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster. The Cluster supports and helps develop sustainable business practices across Wales’ agri-food industry and aims ‘To make Welsh Food & Drink the most sustainably produced in the world, and shout about it.’

Likewise, agricultural industry stakeholders are focussing more on sustainability themes, including NFU Cymru Net Zero 2040 commitment and Hybu Cig Cymru- Meat Promotion Wales’ environmental blueprint for the livestock sector (The Welsh Way).

The partnership wants to integrate the supply chain, whereby suppliers, stakeholders, intermediaries and caterers’ targets are aligned in a structured programme. Several of Castell Howells’ suppliers and customers are already on a journey to build sustainability into their businesses. Moving forward with this aim, the partnership with Just Perfect creates a blueprint for suppliers undertaking such steps.

Kathryn Jones, Sales Director at Castell Howell Foods, said “The sustainable food movement has become a driving factor in consumers’ decisions to ensure that our resources can continue to provide food to feed the growing population today and in the future.

“The food and beverage industry faces unique challenges regarding sustainability. We look forward to collaborating to address these issues.”

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Established in 2009, Bridgend-based Just Perfect contract Catering have become the market leaders in operating and supplying workplace contract catering service to many of the largest and most prestigious worldwide brands and clients across Wales.

Louise Owens, Director at Just Perfect Catering, said “Since the inception of Just Perfect Catering, our focus has been on how sourcing food from Wales impacts the local economy and communities. Also, how this translates to an assurance of high quality, fully traceable food for our customers.

“This underpinning ethos, with an unrivalled commitment to using Welsh produce, has ensured that we continue to lead in our industry.

“Over 90% of our produce comes directly from Welsh suppliers, and we’re excited to be expanding this further by strengthening our partnership with Castell Howell and their network of Welsh suppliers.”

The first phase of the Castell Howell supply chain initiative includes working with the Rees family at Bryn Helygan Farm, Pendoylan, as they work towards the NFU’s Net Zero 2040 target.

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The Vale of Glamorgan farm has been a Celtic Pride Premium Beef supplier for several years, and farmer Ed Rees said, “’We believe that Welsh farming is one of the most sustainable systems in the world. Our cattle are extensively reared, and we manage some 50 acres of woodland and extensive hedgerows.

“Measuring our environmental impact and understanding how to manage and reduce works towards NFU Cymru’s Net Zero 2040 target. We look forward to seeing how this will be communicated to the end-user.”

Simultaneous work with Authentic Curry Company, Llaeth Y Llan, and Radnor Hills will aim to establish a responsible supply chain and promote these benefits on menus developed by Just Perfect Catering.

Business in the Community (BITC) will deliver the scheme’s training and monitoring.

Sue Husband, Director BITC Cymru, said, “We are pleased to be working collaboratively with Castell Howell Foods to deliver social and environmental benefits at scale while creating business value. Together we are working with Castell Howell’s supply chain to equip them with information and support to help them make more sustainable choices.

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“Responsible businesses across Wales could follow the example of Castell Howell and use their purchasing power to select and engage suppliers and business partners to foster local economic growth while driving resilience and environmental sustainability.”

Lead image: (Left to right) Ed Rees (Bryn Helygan Farm), Edward Morgan (Castell Howell Foods), Louise Owens (Just Perfect Catering), Tony Lyon (Just Perfect Catering), Peter Barnwell (Castell Howell Foods). (Image: Nick Treharne)

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Food & Drink

Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés

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Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.

Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.

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The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.

The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.

Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.

Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.

Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”

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Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:

MondayRoast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw 
TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese 
WednesdayBreakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast 
ThursdayCheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw  or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw 
FridayUltimate Fish & Chips

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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Food & Drink

Proposal to ban tea and coffee for under 16s in Wales branded ‘illiberal’

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photo of person s hand pouring liquid to cup

Proposals to consider banning the sale of tea and coffee to under-16s in Wales have been labelled ‘outrageously illiberal’ by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The Welsh Labour Government reportedly confirmed that it is considering the move as part of plans to make young people healthier and stop rising obesity rates.

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The move comes as the Welsh Government raise concerns of the rising consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks among young people is also causing concern about the effects on their education.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is beggars’ belief that this is even under consideration.

“We are all aware obesity is a serious problem in Wales and it is important that we take action to reduce the levels across Wales.

“However, it doesn’t take an expert consultation to realise that tea and coffee are not responsible for high obesity levels.

“It would be outrageously illiberal to ban the sale of coffee and tea to under 16-year-olds, something which they regularly drink themselves at home.”

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(Lead image: Elina Fairytale / Pexels.com)

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Food & Drink

Tesco makes it even easier for Swansea shoppers to help local food banks and charities

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Tesco is making it easier than ever for shoppers to give a helping hand to food banks and charities feeding people in their local community, with ready-prepared donation bags at local stores in Swansea this summer.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in every large Tesco store across the UK from Thursday, June 30 until Saturday, July 2, and shoppers are being urged to donate long-life food to support local food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and thousands of frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Tesco will top up all food donations made during the collection with an extra 20% cash donation to support the two charities.

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The pre-filled donation bags, available during the collection, will contain items that are most-needed by the local Trussell Trust foodbank or frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Shoppers will be able to scan the contents at the till as part of their usual shop before dropping the bag into the food collection donation trolley.

It is one of a number of new ways that customers can give their support during this summer’s food collection. Shoppers can also for the first time round up their bill at the checkout to make a small donation to both the charities.

From this week it is also easier for customers who shop in Express stores to support the charities, with new permanent donation points being placed in every Tesco Express store in the UK for the first time, meaning shoppers will now be able to donate at Express stores year-round. Shoppers can also donate their Tesco Clubcard points online to either of the charities.

Tesco’s Pre-filled donation bags

Tesco Head of Community Claire de Silva said, “This collection marks ten years of us working with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. During that decade our customers have been amazingly generous, donating more than 100 million meals during our food collections and at permanent collection points in stores. This summer we wanted to make it even easier for customers to donate as we know that every can donated really does help.”

Donations are more important than ever as the charities have reported increasing need for food.

Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “Our charities are telling us that the need for food has vastly increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and over the last year we’ve continued to deliver four meals every second to people facing food insecurity across the UK.

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“That’s why we would be immensely grateful to anyone who is able to donate a bag of pasta or tin of vegetables over the Tesco Food Collection weekend – your generous donations will help us continue providing vital support to families struggling to cope this summer.”

Danni Malone, Director of Network Programmes and Innovation at the Trussell Trust added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers who donate to the Food Collection.

“We know that many families on the very lowest incomes have been forced to the doors of food banks to get by, as the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living and continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. So, once again, we are calling on shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the coming weeks and months.”

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