PRESS RELEASES

Bidfresh urges chefs to focus on ethical supply

July 2019

Ethical trading issues including modern slavery, fair wages, gender equality, and decent working hours are increasingly moving up the consumer agenda, believes fresh produce group Bidfresh.

The recent court case which saw convictions following a police investigation into the UK’s largest modern slavery ring has highlighted how close to home the issue can be for hospitality businesses. Some victims worked in the food supply chain, including on farms and in poultry factories (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/05/charity-and-police-break-up-uks-largest-modern-slavery-ring).

Bidfresh has just completed an updated training programme for its sales teams to ensure they are able to advise on ethical trading in the supply chain. The group, which supplies products including fresh meat, fish & seafood, fruit & veg and cheese to thousands of chefs and hospitality businesses, believes operators that don’t prioritise ethical trading will increasingly face tough questions from customers, as well as negative publicity when specific issues hit the headlines.

Bidfresh is spotlighting the issue as a member of organisations including the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and the Food Network for Ethical Trade.

Caitlin Schindler, Bidfresh Sustainability & Ethics Manager, said: “We’ve been addressing ethical trading issues right through our business for some time, and joined the ETI in 2015.

“Our supply chain is complex; we source everywhere from local farms, dairies and day boats in Britain to international producers in locations from Canada to Vietnam. .
“These suppliers are crucial to our businesses, and we expect them to be specialists in the food they sell; ethically and sustainably minded; and to be as close to the source of the food as possible.”

As well as UK cases, the ETI has highlighted issues around the world that need to be of concern to hospitality industry. These include:

• Modern slavery: There have been documented cases all over the world, including in the UK. A recent example is Brazil, one of the world’s largest exporters of beef. Because of their isolation, there have been documented cases of slavery and child labour on certain Brazilian beef ranches. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/sep/29/victims-of-slavery-farms-in-brazil-para-state-amazonian-rainforest

• Another modern slavery investigation led to the release of more than 2000 slaves held on Thai boats catching seafood for global markets. https://www.ap.org/explore/seafood-from-slaves/

• Sexual exploitation: The Spanish fresh produce sector relies on migrant seasonal labour. Recent media reports have told the stories of Moroccan women who have been victims of trafficking, assault and exploitation when working in Spain. https://www.ethicaltrade.org/blog/sexual-abuse-workers-spains-strawberry-fields

Bidfresh’s Direct Seafoods business works with organisations such as the Marine Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Seafood Coalition to ensure that the source and origin of both wild-caught and farmed fish is clear, while its Countrywide Butchers brand is committing to achieve the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Five Freedoms in its meat, dairy and egg supply chains.

Stephen Oswald, CEO of Bidfresh, said: “We can never afford to be complacent, and we work hard on behalf of our customers to ensure we meet these high ethical standards, often without them even being aware that we do so.

“However, awareness is growing, and we believe consumers in the hospitality sector are going to be asking tougher questions when they eat out. We’re stepping up our own internal training, and the advice and support we offer our customers on ethical and sustainability issues. We can give all the information operators need to highlight responsibly sourced produce on menus, and we hope to see many more using it.”

‘Small beer’ wins big listing: Tesco to sell Hogs Back Little Swine low alcohol beer

July 2019

Tesco to sell Hogs Back Little Swine low alcohol beer

Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery has secured a listing with Tesco for its Little Swine 2.8% beer, launched in pubs earlier this year. Bottles of the beer will be available in around 200 of the retailer’s stores from August.

Billed as a ‘Small Beer with a Big Flavour’, Little Swine meets consumer demand for low alcohol beers that fully deliver on flavour. Hogs Back initially launched Little Swine in February this year in keg. It is a dry-hopped, aromatic pale ale, brewed with a blend of aroma hops, including the citrussy Cascade grown in the Hogs Back hop garden and American Mosaic hops with complementary tropical notes. The beer is then dry hopped for additional aroma and flavour.

Tesco is the first major retailer to take Little Swine in bottles. Hogs Back has adapted the pump clip design to create an eye-catching bottle label which features the iconic Hogs Back hog, reduced in size to reflect the beer’s name. The neck label communicates Hogs Back’s ‘Field to Firkin in a Furlong’ positioning, based on the 200 yards distance from the hop garden to the brewhouse.

A 330ml bottle of Little Swine contains less than one unit of alcohol and will be included in Tesco’s ‘four for £6’ bottled beer offer.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We’re delighted to have secured this significant listing for Little Swine with Tesco, which takes our small beer to a big audience.

“We’re very proud of Little Swine, our first low-alcohol beer. Our brewing team have created a beer with all the taste of our full strength range, using additional hops and malts to compensate for the lower ABV. This beer is for drinkers who love the taste of beer but want to moderate the amount of alcohol units they drink, perhaps so they can enjoy a beer at lunchtime or a few in the evening and still keep a clear head for the afternoon or next day.

“Drinkers loved Little Swine on draught and we’re sure the bottled version will be just as popular.”

Hugo Murray, Buying Manager for Ale and Stout at Tesco said: “I am looking forward to Hogs Back Little Swine coming in to Tesco in August. Low alcohol beers are a new direction for the Surrey brewery and Little Swine is very on trend, a small beer packed with hops, juicy and crisp. Best enjoyed cold, it’s the perfect drink for summer.”

Little Swine was one of three new keg beers launched by Hogs Back at Craft Beer Rising this year, where they also unveiled a new design for their Hogstar lager. The new Hogstar design is being rolled out on bottles and cans over the summer.

Volume sales of low/no alcohol beers have grown by 60% in the off-trade since 2017. Younger and more affluent consumers are most likely to buy low/no alcohol beers, but one in five consumers say they have been deterred by the taste. (Source: Marston’s Off-Trade Beer Report 2019/20)

-ends

Notes to editors

Little Swine:  Hogs Back produces Little Swine using a different method from the reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation, which many brewers use to remove all alcohol. Instead, Hogs Back brew to accentuate the flavour, but modify their recipe to have fewer fermentables, and control the fermentation process very carefully.

Pubs, bars and restaurants set to mark Pinkspiration Week

July 2019

Tuesday 23 July sees the start of Team Margot Pinkspiration Week, the charity awareness week set up by industry entrepreneur Yaser Martini. Pinkspiration Week, which runs until 30th July, has support from pub, bar and casual dining operators who between them have more than 700 outlets.

Unlike most charity initiatives, Team Margot Pinkspiration Week is aiming not to raise money, but to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors. Pinkspiration Week links to the Team Margot Atlantic Row in December this year, when a team of three dads will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They are hoping to encourage new registrations from 1.5 million people – the number of strokes it will take them to complete the 3,000-mile journey, hence their slogan #WeRowYouRegister

Martini and the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers will be touring the pink rowing boat around the country during Pinkspiration Week, stopping at a number of pubs and setting up a swab registration desk for customers interested in signing up to save a life. The tour culminates at Belushi’s in Greenwich on Tuesday 30th July, which is also ‘Live Your Life’, the day marked every year across all Beds and Bars venues in memory of Franca Knowles.

Operators who are supporting Pinkspiration Week are: Beds and Bars, All Our Bars, Arc Inspirations, Casual Dining Group, Cirrus Inns, Fuller’s,Glendola Leisure, New World Trading Company and Yummy Pubs. UKHospitality and the BII have encouraged their members to back the campaign and Sky Business has also communicated it out to licensees.

Participating venues are marking Pinkspiration Week with a range of activities. Many are offering pink food and drinks – including Orchard Pig Pink cider, which is sponsoring the Team Margot boat. Team members will be wearing pink T-shirts, handing out Team Margot wristbands, and communicating the message about stem cell registration to customers.

Martini says: “We are basically asking people to swab their cheeks and join the register. It’s quick and easy to do and it’s incredible to think that a stranger standing next to you at the bar could be your ‘perfect match’ and lifesaver, if you needed a stem cell transplant. But you wouldn’t know that, unless they were on the register.

“We are delighted with operators’ enthusiasm for Pinkspiration Week and looking forward to seeing it activated in pubs, bars and restaurants across the country. With good weather predicted for the week, venues should be busy, meaning more customers will be exposed to the campaign message, so we’re confident that Pinkspiration Week won’t just be a fun, pink-themed event, but will also deliver an uplift in people registering as stem cell donors.”

He added: “We’re encouraging operators to spread the word about stem cell registration not just to customers, but across their networks – to all their teams in outlets and at head office and up the supply chain. Community is what our industry excels at. The more people who go on the register, the better the chance that those who need treatment will find a match.
“If we can reach our target of adding 1.5 million people to the register, then up to 15,000 lives could potentially be saved.”

Team Margot was set up in 2015 by Martini in memory of his daughter Margot and to honour her legacy after she lost her battle with blood cancer, aged two. Margot was unable to find her ‘perfect match’. Anyone between 17-55 years old who is in general good health can join the register via a simple swab test.

Orchard Pig backing Team Margot Atlantic Row

The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ boat is sponsored by cider makers Orchard Pig, part of the C&C group, who recently added Orchard Pig Pink to the range of premium ciders. Perfect for summer, Orchard Pig Pink is a 4.5% gently sparkling cider that combines the light and fruity elements of a rosé wine, with the medium dryness expected from a Somerset cider.
Rhona Fyfe, brand manager at C&C, said: “In terms of challenges of sheer human endurance this one epitomises the Orchard Pig attitude of ‘Go Pig or Go Home’, and we’ve been hugely inspired by The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers.

“We’re delighted to sponsor the team and have no doubt they’ll do a brilliant job in raising awareness to drive blood stem cell donor registrations. We’ve certainly been encouraging all Orchid Pig customers to support Pinkspiration Week and do their bit to help Team Margot hit their target.”

Pictured: Thinking pink: Team Margot Foundation founder Yaser Martini with the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ car and boat, which will be going 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors

World’s Biggest Pub Quiz tops £200,000 for charity

July 2019

The World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, organised by PubAid in March this year, has raised more than £230,000* for hundreds of charities, including over £94,000 for Prostate Cancer UK, the event’s official charity partner.

This is the first time that money raised from the quiz has topped the £200,000 mark since its launch in 2016 and is a 21% uplift on the 2018 amount. The average sum raised per pub this year was £160, up from £134 last year. The quiz has raised a total of £750,000 over the four years it has been running.

Co-founder of PubAid, Des O’Flanagan, commented: “We’re delighted with this impressive total raised by the quiz, which we know will be put to good use by the wide range of charities and worthy causes it benefits.

“The substantial increase in the average amount raised per pub is welcome and we think it shows that, after four years, the quiz has become a popular fixture on many pubs’ calendars, something that licensees and their customers look forward to every year. It meant that this year, more publicans were promoting the quiz, attracting more quizzers and often adding additional fundraising activities like bingo or raffles, to increase the amount raised on the night.

“The quiz not only raises money, but also shines a spotlight on the great work that pubs do for charity. More than £100 million is raised by pubs every year, an incredible amount which reflects their vital role at the heart of their local communities.”

He added: “We are grateful to every pub, pub company and brewer who supported this year’s quiz, and also to our charity partner since 2017, Prostate Cancer UK; they have driven the quiz with huge professionalism and enthusiasm and have undoubtedly helped to raise its profile over the last three years.”

Jon Eserin, Associate Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It’s been brilliant to watch the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz grow over the past three years and we feel lucky to have been able to play a part in that as PubAid’s official charity partner. We are extremely grateful to all the venues who have chosen to support Prostate Cancer UK this year and who have raised funds that will help stop prostate cancer being a killer.

“As well as helping us to raise an incredible amount of money, our partnership with PubAid has allowed us to reach men and raise awareness of a disease which kills one man every 45 minutes. We thank PubAid for their ongoing support and look forward to seeing the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz grow from strength to strength.”

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST PUB QUIZ 2019 – KEY FACTS
Based on a post-event survey of 94 participating venues
• An estimated 1,438 pubs ran for the quiz this year
• 91% of licensees liked this year’s quiz questions and 74% liked the promotional posters
• 50% of participating pubs also ran a raffle on the night, and 17% held another type of fundraising activity
• The most popular night to hold the quiz was on the Sunday (19%), followed by Thursday (18%)
• 22% of pubs asked for questions to be made easier, while 6% asked for them to be harder
• 70% of pubs who took part are ‘definitely’ planning to run the quiz again in 2020 and a further 24% are ‘likely’ to repeat it.

*Total number of pubs who have reported monies raised (986) plus an estimated 452 pubs who have not yet reported the sum they raised, multiplied by the average gift (£160).

Caption to attached image: At the King’s Arms, Dorking, ‘Mark’s Men’ won The World’s Biggest Pub Quiz 2019

The Fernet-Branca Barback Games return to London for a second year

July 2019

The Fernet-Branca Barback Games return to London this September to challenge Britain’s bravest bar industry professionals. The winning team will go on to compete in the European final, taking place during the Bar Convent trade event in Berlin in October.

The event takes place at Village Underground, London on Sunday 29 September, with host Hi-Spirits expecting an even stronger turnout for the games’ second year in London, both from teams competing, and with loud, enthusiastic support from across the bar trade to cheer them on.

Eight teams of finalists will be chosen, with travel and accommodation paid for, and a minimum of four teams from outside of London competing on the night. The games test the skills and endurance of competitors with a series of physical challenges, as well as their knowledge and passion for classic Italian digestif Fernet-Branca.

Any bar stocking Fernet-Branca or another Fratelli Branca brand can enter a team, made up of one competitor and one coach. A competitor must work in a role that includes barback duties. To narrow down the entries, teams are being asked to sum up “What does the industry mean to you?”.

A global judging panel of bar professionals will oversee the proceedings, leading to a final battle between the top two teams to decide who will compete for the honour of the British bar trade in Berlin.

Poppy Croft, marketing manager of Fernet-Branca UK distributor Hi-Spirits, said: “The audience is as much a part of the Barback Games as the competitors, and bars can RSVP for tickets online.
“It’s a great chance to network, explore exciting complimentary Fernet-Branca drinks, and enjoy food and entertainment – last year saw DJ Luck and MC Neat perform – and, of course, shout themselves hoarse as the competitors are put through their paces.”

Teams hoping to compete, and trade professionals applying for complimentary tickets, can sign up at www.fernet-branca.co.uk/barbackgames. Entries for competitors are open from 15 July to 31 August, with the finalists announced on 8 September.

The teams won’t find out what’s involved until the day of the games, but competitors are being warned that they need to be fit and able to compete in some very physical challenges.

Originally held in San Francisco in 2007, the Barback Games are now one of the biggest touring bar industry events. The 2019 London heat competition takes place at Village Underground, Shoreditch, London from 7pm – 12pm on 29 September. The winning team will spend three nights in Berlin, with the European final taking place during Bar Convent, which runs from 7 to 9 October.

Celebrity chefs and drinks experts support Pinkspiration Week

July 2019

Team Margot Pinkspiration Week, the charity awareness week running from 23-30 July, is gathering support across the hospitality sector, with pink recipes and drinks serves contributed by a number of well-known chefs and drinks experts now available to participating operators.

Pinkspiration Week has gained the support of several pub and bar operators, who between them have around 700 outlets.

Unlike most charity initiatives, Pinkspiration Week is aiming not to raise money, but to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors.

The dedicated Pinkspiration Week website https://www.teammargotatlanticrowers.com/pinkspiration now includes a Pink Food & Drink section featuring recipes for pink dishes contributed by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, three-times Great British Menu finalist Josh Eggleton; Saturday Kitchen host Matt Tebbut and Louisa Ellis, finalist in Masterchef The Professionals in 2017.

The drinks section includes pink serves created by flavour guru Pritesh Mody and Tom Proud of the Crafted Projects group. Emma Inch, current Beer Writer of the Year, has curated a list of pink beers and ciders, including Orchard Pig Pink, sponsors of the Team Margot Atlantic Challenge. Posters, social media assets and menu statements, are also available as downloads from the website, equipping participating pubs and bars to promote Pinkspiration Week to their customers.

Pinkspiration Week links to the Team Margot Atlantic Row in December this year, when a team of four dads will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They are hoping to encourage new registrations from 1.5 million people – the number of strokes it will take them to complete the 3,000-mile journey, hence their slogan of ‘We Row, You Register’ #WeRowYouRegister

Casual Dining Group sites join campaign

The latest operator to sign up to Pinkspiration Week is Casual Dining Group who will be offering their customers a free pink gin at Café Rouge and Bella Italia sites nationwide during the week.

Other operators already committed to Pinkspiration Week include: Beds and Bars, Glendola Leisure, Yummy Pubs, Cirrus Inns, Arc Inspirations, New World Trading Company, All Our Bars and Fuller’s. UKHospitality and the BII are encouraging members to back the campaign.

Martini says: “We are basically asking people to swab their cheeks and join the register. It’s quick and easy to do and it’s incredible to think that a stranger standing next to you at the bar could be your ‘perfect match’ and lifesaver, if you needed a stem cell transplant. But you wouldn’t know that, unless they were on the register.

“We are delighted with operators’ enthusiasm for Pinkspiration Week so far and with under a month to go, would urge others to get on board. It is fun, promotes a worthy cause that everyone can support – and for once, doesn’t involve rattling a collecting tin at customers!”

He added: “We’re encouraging operators to spread the word about stem cell registration not just to customers, but across their networks – to all their teams in outlets and at head office and up the supply chain. Community is what our industry excels at. The more people who go on the register, the better the chance that those who need treatment will find a match.
“If we can reach our target of adding 1.5 million people to the register, then up to 15,000 lives could potentially be saved.”

Team Margot was set up in 2015 by Martini in memory of his daughter Margot and to honour her legacy after she lost her battle with blood cancer, aged two. Margot was unable to find her ‘perfect match’. Anyone between 17-55 years old who is in general good health can join the register via a simple swab test.

Orchard Pig backing Team Margot Atlantic Row

The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ boat is sponsored by cider makers Orchard Pig, part of the C&C group, who have just added Orchard Pig Pink to the range of premium ciders. Perfect for summer, Orchard Pig Pink is a 4.5% gently sparkling cider that combines the light and fruity elements of a rosé wine, with the medium dryness expected from a Somerset cider.
Jason Ash, the company’s chief marketing officer, said: “In terms of challenges of sheer human endurance this one epitomises the Orchard Pig attitude of ‘Go Pig or Go Home’, and we’ve been hugely inspired by The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers.

“We’re delighted to sponsor the team and have no doubt they’ll do a brilliant job in raising awareness to drive blood stem cell donor registrations. We’ll certainly be encouraging all Orchid Pig customers to support Pinkspiration Week and do their bit to help Team Margot hit their target.”

* For more information on the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers and ideas on how to get involved in ‘Pinkspiration’ Week visit https://www.teammargotatlanticrowers.com/pinkspiration

Caption to attached image: Thinking pink: Team Margot Foundation founder Yaser Martini with the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ boat, which will be going 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors