Posted 11 February 2010
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Pizza, pasta, wraps and Asian street food were all on the menu in the West Midlands Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams University College yesterday, when a panel of taste testers arrived on campus.
Eight companies were pitching their wares to SNUPI, a purchasing consortium for universities, colleges and local authorities.
Jenny Stevens, SNUPI Operations Director, said: “We are doing a tender for innovative catering concepts. We have eight suppliers and are evaluating their concepts to see if their suitability and pricing give value for money to the caterers in our respective organisations.”
She explained that one of the main objectives, particularly for local authorities, was to meet healthy eating guidelines.
“We are encouraging suppliers to look at reducing fat, reducing sugar and reducing salt, in particular, but also to meet those nutritional guidelines. In the college and university sector, the students coming from schools will be our future customers, so we need to embrace that, so we do not undo the good work that’s been done in schools.”
David Nuttall, General Catering Manager at Harper Adams, works with SNUPI to procure supplies for the University College, and arranged for the event to take place in the exhibition hall of the new West Midlands Regional Food Academy.
He enlisted staff and students to help with taste testing, while SNUPI panellists conducted a more thorough evaluation of each of the eight concepts.
Mr Nuttall said: “It’s been brilliant because it really gets the whole food issue highlighted on campus, which is what the Regional Food Academy is all about.
“We have a new cafe being built on the site and this gives us a chance to look at some of the options we can push into that cafe. It’s much more of a ‘grab and go’ market for the students these days.”