education Archives - Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Posts Tagged :


The Government Food Strategy: More research, policies and further consultation needed

The National Food Strategy published in the summer of 2021, was the first comprehensive review of the food system in 75 years, undertaken by an extensive panel of experts with detailed evidence-based recommendations. It resulted in the Government committing to release a White Paper to take forward or reject the suggestions it made.

The catering sector eagerly awaited its publication, with the hope that decisive inroads could be made into improving the health of the nation. The latest Government Food Strategy has now been published.

Here, two of the allmanhall team take a look: Tess Warnes BSc RD, company dietitian at allmanhall and Joe Evans, a non-executive director of allmanhall and current Chairman of the Environment Committee for The Country Land and Business Association. Together they address the recommendations, what this means for food supply, key take-outs and actions for caterers, and whether the latest report delivers on earlier promises and expectations…

A key theme of The National Food Strategy was to manage obesity and food poverty by equally addressing issues of diet and sustainability, with particular attention on a tax on sugar and salt and reducing meat consumption whilst increasing fruit and vegetable intake. The theme throughout the newly published Government Food Strategy Report appears to be a considerable lack of action, and instead references the need for more evidence and policies before committing to progress.

Tess Warnes BSc RD, company dietitian at allmanhall comments: “the main outcome seems to be the need for more research, policies and further consultation before any concrete actions can take place.

At allmanhall, we support catering teams with nutrition and dietetic improvements, so were hopeful that the Government would by now be in a position to implement some of the suggested changes. Instead, they seem to be shying away from any bold transformative recommendations, in particular issues around health and tackling obesity.”

Joe Evans, non-executive director of allmanhall and current Chairman of the Environment Committee for The Country Land and Business Association, goes on to critique the report from a farming and supply angle and whether it sufficiently addresses food security, balanced with sustainability.

“There is still significant thought required to address the acute challenges to supply chain resilience when it comes to farm producers, too. There are currently 9 main risks* to the UK food production supply chain. These need to be augmented with the very sensible and necessary drive towards Sustainable Farming practices.” The team at allmanhall go on to say they very much hope to see further evolutions of the Food Strategy to ensure a balanced approach.

So, what are the outcomes of the latest Food Strategy, and how far do they go to address the key issues of diet and sustainability?

The Government is suggesting further consultation is needed in a number of areas before any concrete actions can be undertaken;

  • Consult on the ambition for half of public sector expenditure to be spent on food produced locally or to higher environmental standards
  • Consult on how to improve on and expand animal welfare labelling
  • £270m to be invested across farming innovation to drive sustainable farming
  • Consult on food waste
  • Explore innovative feed additives that can reduce methane emissions
  • Launch a new partnership between public and private sector to provide consumers with more information about the food they eat while incentivising industry to produce healthier, more ethical and sustainable goods
  • Undertake trials to develop evidenced-based interventions to encourage healthier more sustainable diets
  • Enhanced monitoring regarding School Food Standards.

On the serious issues of obesity and food poverty, the responsibility has been handed over to be dealt with by the Health Disparities White Paper, which is currently due to be published later this year.

The report very much emphasises on the rising cost of living as a reason for not making any drastic changes, such as taxing sugar and salt. This had been a key recommendation from the National Food Strategy, but it has been completely ignored in this policy. We have seen how effective mandatory interventions can be, as evidenced by the UK’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy led to a 29% reduction in the average sugar content of soft drinks (2).

The UK has now the third highest rates of obesity in the G7. Almost three in ten of our adult population are obese (1) meaning bold actions are needed now. The report acknowledges the Junk Food Cycle, as described in the National Food Strategy, but then does not go on to action any suggested solutions. Instead, it focuses more on individuals taking responsibility for their health. As we have seen with the continuing rising rates of obesity it is unrealistic to expect a reduction in body weight solely through individual willpower (3).

Due to the number of people in food poverty, which will likely worsen due to the rising cost of food, it is concerning that the recommendation to extend the eligibility criteria for free school meals has been ignored. Analysis from Child Poverty Action Group suggests 1 in 3 school-age children in England living in poverty miss out on free school meals. (4)

There is very little reference to the recommendations to alter our diet profile by increasing fruit and veg by 30%, fibre by 50% and reducing HFHS foods by 25% and meat by 30%. There is no reference to reducing meat or diary at all, and instead a focus on using different farming methods to reduce methane, despite the National Food Strategy evidencing that we simply cannot reduce methane emissions to a safe level, nor free up the land we need for sequestering carbon, without reducing the amount of meat we eat (5).

So where does this leave caterers? What can catering teams being doing now rather than waiting?

Tess Warnes BSc RD suggests that “with very little decided upon now, and so much hanging in the balance requiring further clarification, while we wait for further direction and policy from the Government, caterers can proactively start implementing some actions themselves.”

  • Introduction of meat free days
  • A ban on certain meats
  • One vegan or vegetarian option added to menu design
  • A minimum of two portions of vegetables per meal, already in line with existing school standards, widened into other sectors
  • Consider calling things on a menu ‘vegetable’ rather than ‘vegetarian’
  • Working with suppliers or procurement provider to understand the whole supply chain rather than just the last mile
  • Ask allmanhall about undertaking carbon impact assessment of menus
  • Address food waste in the catering operation – both sustainability and economically beneficial.

Finally, Warnes comments: “It’s incredibly frustrating that after all this time since the National Food Strategy was commissioned in 2019, we are not much further along with improving the health of the nation. Action is needed now to help reduce obesity and to create a sustainable food system. We will now await the publication of the health disparities white paper due out later this year in the hope that these issues are more thoroughly addressed.” Evans adds “It seems that the reality of conditions of farming are not currently conducive to also helping improve food security through increased domestic self-sufficiency.  This conflict needs to be addressed through the Government Food Strategy.”

*See for details


  1. Bain analysis for the NFS. 1955 mean BMI interpolated from US historic BMI trends and UK BMI from 1977 onwards. Distribution before 1980 is directional using normal distributions around mean value and, therefore, is not an exact representation. Source: NHS Digital. (2018). Health Survey for England 2017 [NS]. NHS Digital. Available at:https://digital.nhs. uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/health-surveyfor-england/2017; Euromonitor. (2019); NHS Digital.(2019). National Child Measurement Programme; Gov.UK. (2018); Population Pyramid. (2019); Davey, R. (2003) The obesity epidemic: too much food for thought?; The trend of BMI values of US adults by centiles, birth cohorts 1882–1986, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010.
  2. Scarborough, P. et al. (2020). Impact of the announcement and implementation of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy on sugar content, price, product size and number of available soft drinks in the UK, 2015–19: A controlled interrupted time series analysis. PLOS Medicine, 17(2), p.e1003025. Available at: plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003025
  3. Adams, J. et al. (2016). Why Are Some Population Interventions for Diet and Obesity More Equitable and Effective Than Others? The Role of Individual Agency. PLOS Medicine, 13(4) .Available at: pmed.1001990
  4. Child Poverty Action Group. Accessed online June 22
  5. National Food Strategy Independent Review. The Plan July 2021. Accesses online file:///C:/Users/Lara/Downloads/25585_1669_NFS_The_Plan_July21_S12_New-1%20(1).pdf

Women in STEM: Empowerment in employment

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors are largely occupied by men. The number of women in these industries is particularly low — findings from 2017 reported that only 23 per cent of STEM employees are women. This is undoubtedly low, however is 105,470 higher than rates in 2016.

Attitudes appear to be changing towards women in the STEM workforce. This year has seen some of the biggest names and influential figures in the industry being women, such as Kate Bouman, the woman who engineered the first image of a black hole. In this article, we track how more women have entered STEM than any other field in the past four decades...

Research by LinkedIn stated that of all career fields, STEM had more female employees over the last 40 years than any other sector. Philanthropist and former general manager at Microsoft, Melinda Gates, said: “Innovation happens when we approach urgent challenges from every different point of view. Bringing women and underrepresented minorities into the field guarantees that we see the full range of solutions to the real problems that people face in the world”.

Health and fitness app Fitbit came under scrutiny in 2018 when they released their period tracker which had a 10-day cycle. If more women were involved in the creation, they would’ve realised this was 3 days too long. In the States, the tech industry is one of the highest paying fields — yet women are still paid less than their male counterparts.

Breaking Through Bias

Biases are unfortunately a part of the way people think. Especially when we’ve been raised with the idea that men are better suited for certain jobs than women. Charles Darwin described women as intellectual inferiors and universities rejected women up until the 20th century.

Senior vice president for the American Association of University Women, Laura Segal, argued: “Teachers and parents provide explicit and implicit messages starting in early childhood that boys and men are ‘better’ at math, and the gaps in the professions reinforce the opportunities, culture and lack of role models that perpetuate male dominance”.

Schools and universities have increased initiatives to promote women in STEM since 2012. Previously, female students reported avoiding STEM courses because of a lack of female role models to identify with. If girls were taught about female role models like Marie Curie, for example, who discovered the effects of radiation, perhaps they’d be more inclined to pursue a career in the field.

To tackle this issue, more content around women in STEM has been introduced by exam boards. Rosalind Franklin, a woman central to the understanding of DNA, has been taught across the nation. This has been linked to this year’s A-level results, which saw female students studying STEM courses (50.3%) outnumber male students (49.7%). 


There’s been an increase in funding to fix the STEM gender disparity. Philanthropists have donated $25 million to boost girls’ interest by changing the narrative that they’re masculine careers. It’s expected to inspire other girls to follow other successful women. 

Sadly, it’s been a common theme for women to leave STEM careers due to it being heavily dominated by men, such as the engineering industry. They noted that they had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously and to earn respect.

125 female ambassadors were incorporated by Lyda Hill Philanthropists, representing the different STEM career paths. Part of the donation will be used to fund grants for women to study STEM courses.


Research by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers found that a shortage of STEM workers in the UK is costing around £1.5 billion annually. Apprenticeships have an equal gender balance, yet only nine per cent of STEM apprentices are women.

To overcome this disappointing figure, the UK government is helping women learn more about the opportunities apprenticeships offer to encourage them to pursue STEM. Lookers, who offer a range of motability cars, launched a female apprenticeship scheme back in 2018. The aim is to double the amount of their female apprenticeships and provide a positive environment to encourage and attract women to STEM.

Although it’s disappointing to hear about a gender disparity in today’s age, it’s encouraging to hear about how efforts are being made by many to make room for women in STEM.


Logistics facing ‘time bomb’ skills deficit

A ‘time bomb’ of logistics skills deficits could bring the whole nation to a grinding halt, according to a new report.

The research, published by specialist recruitment and development company Talent In Logistics, reveals that only eight percent of young people consider the sector to be an attractive career option, while an astounding 42 percent don’t even know what logistics is.

And, with only nine percent of the current logistics workforce under the age of 25, the report says there’s a likelihood of a severe skills deficit in the future.

500 students and teachers attending the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition took part in the Talent In Logistics research in November 2018, which also reveals significant concerns around diversity, career opportunities and salary.

The research triggered the commissioning of a white paper,’ Changing Perceptions: Attracting Young Talent Into Logistics’, highlighting the extent of the damage and providing insight to help businesses attract and retain millennials.

Key findings included:

  • A quarter (26 percent) of the young people quizzed said they do not believe there is gender diversity within the logistics sector
  • Only 18 percent have been spoken to at school or Sixth Form about logistics as a career path

Many of those polled were also unaware of the range of roles available within logistics, which can range from facilities managers and data analysts to freight co-ordinators and materials planners.

“The perception of logistics is arguably the biggest problem facing the sector when trying to recruit new talent,” said Ruth Edwards, business manager of Talent In Logistics.

“As an organisation we want to promote the importance of recruiting talent from groups that are currently under-represented in the logistics industry.

“It’s only by future-proofing the nation’s currently thriving logistics sector that we can keep the UK moving.”

Talent In Logistics says that while driver shortages and skills gaps are already taking their toll, the biggest hurdle is the sector’s ageing population and the lack of millennials coming up through the ranks to replace them.

Edwards concluded: “We are calling upon the sector and the education system to play their part in ensuring young people are aware of the many amazing opportunities and career paths available within logistics.”

A full copy of the report ca be downloaded below.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

University of London unveils supply chain management degree

A brand new degree from the University of London, delivered in partnership with City – University of London’s Cass Business School – aims to give students a 360 degree perspective and learn about the managerial and analytical tools to manage global supply chains.

The MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics will also help students learn how to successfully lead supply chains of the future by creating cultural of innovation and adopting latest technologies in all sectors of their organisation.

Co-Programme Director Dr Byung-Gak Son stressed the importance of an effectively managed supply chain, which contributes immensely to the success of global companies like Amazon, Unilever, Nike and The Coca Cola Company.

“Given the enormous challenges of increasingly global and fragmented supply chains, we professionals require a sound understanding of emerging opportunities and risks and the knowledge and tools to handle them,” said Son.

“Our degree was developed as a result of rigorous research that we carried out to identify the skills needed by large organisations to successfully manage their supply chains. As a result, we aim to combine a comprehensive understanding of the subject and related disciplines with in-depth knowledge in relevant specialised areas such as innovation and technology management, supply chain finance or analytics.”

Sam Brenton, Director of Educational Innovation and Development, University of London, said: “We know that today’s professional learners value flexibility and choice. With our unique model, students on the MSc can study entirely online, or with local tuition from our global network of teaching centres.

“Academic direction is provided by the renowned Cass Business School, part of City, University of London and one of the world’s leading business schools. We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students in April, as they study for a prestigious University of London degree anywhere in the world – at work, from home or on the move.”

Applications are now open, and close on Monday 4 March 2019.

To find out more about the MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics, visit: