TUCO discusses Brexit at Winter Conference

Mike Haslin
17/12/2018 - 06:00
The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) focused on Brexit for its fourth annual Winter Conference at the Riddel Hall in Queen’s University, Belfast.

Based on the theme ‘Forks in the road’, a variety of speakers discussed the impact it will have on foodservice and the hospitality industry.

Mike Haslin, TUCO CEO said: “We are delighted with the success of this year’s TUCO Winter Conference. We have been working closely with other similar organisations, to identify the potential high-risk areas Brexit will have an impact on.

“We will continue to work with our providers to understand the impact Brexit will have, particularly around labour regulations and throughout the supply chain.

“I am confident that our conference has given attendees a better outlook on the potential impact of Brexit and are reassured TUCO are here to support them throughout the transition.”

The conference was opened by Mike Haslin, where he presented the delegates with an overview of TUCO’s services launched in the last 12 months, and an insight into their plans for 2019, some of which includes its Palm Oil awareness day in February 2019 and additional digital services to complement TUCO’s Purchase to Pay system.

Lord Wood of Anfield spoke about arrangements in place should the EU and UK not be able to agree a future relationship.

He said: “We want to be a sovereign nation completely and understandably. You have unhappiness on both sides of a very charged Brexit bay. Brexiteers who are very unhappy about the backstop and the future relationship, and you have remainers who are still unhappy about the fact we are leaving, on either or both of the single market or customs.”

He then continued to speak about timelines between now and March 2019, when the Brexit outcome will be confirmed, and covered areas such as the effects on students, workers and how research is essential to foodservice management and student wellbeing.

This was then followed by a presentation from Professor Chris Elliot who discussed how food integrity is ‘more important’ than food security.

Dr. Paul Smeets, then discussed eating behaviour. During his presentation he asked all delegates in the room to log in to an application to answer a few questions.

He asked, on an average week day, what drives your food choice? The results showed hunger was the main drive within the conference room, followed by suggestions such as time, mood, availability and calories.

He went on to speak about the various tasting sessions he had done. Through MRI scanning, he found ‘interesting’ results of what foods stimulate brain activity.

The testing found, “considering healthiness can promote healthier choices in both children and adults but is accompanied by an opposing pattern of brain activation.”

Last of the individual speakers was Donald Sloan.

Sloan has worked with TUCO on its newly launched research, Hospitable Campus – Foodservice management and student wellbeing. During his presentation, he discussed the purpose of the commissioned research and the significant influence on-campus hospitality has on student wellbeing.

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