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The Caterer

Public Sector Caterer of the Year

26 January 2005
Public Sector Caterer of the Year

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Inaugural award
"It is encouraging to note that this new Catey is recognising the expertise and professionalism of caterers in the public sector" Roger Denton This year sees the introduction of a new Catey to recognise the achievements of caterers in the public sector. The award will go to an individual or organisation working in the fields of healthcare, education or institutional catering who can demonstrate clear achievements in the past 12 months and the ability to combine innovation with sound financial performance. The importance of providing good-quality, nutritional meals to the most vulnerable members of society has never been greater. The provision of meals in schools and hospitals has become a hot political issue. Everyone from Prince Charles to Jamie Oliver has an opinion about how these services should be run, and it's important to honour those who are striving for excellence in the field of serving the community. Public sector catering is an enormous undertaking. Our NHS alone is the largest food purchaser in Europe, spending £500m a year on food. Local authority caterers are responsible for providing more than 2.5 million school meals a day, as well as social services catering such as in residential homes for the elderly, day centres and meals on wheels. The Government is leading a major review into the way schools, hospitals and the rest of the public sector buys its food and catering services. Food and farming minister Lord Whitty has said: "We want to encourage more public sector caterers to think not just about value for money but about meeting key Government objectives on sustainability, nutrition and the environment, so that environmental impacts are minimised, the procurement of organic food is promoted and waste is reduced." A lot is being asked of public sector caterers, yet all over the UK there are examples of those who are more than up to the challenge. As Roger Denton, head of catering for the London Borough of Sutton, comments: "It is encouraging to note that this new Catey is recognising the expertise and professionalism of caterers in the public sector. We have always been viewed as the poor relations of the catering industry. With the combination of Government policy changes and tight budgets, it becomes an achievement to survive, let alone excel, as some do. It is certainly time to award their dedication and commitment to customers and the industry." The Public Sector Caterer of the Year will, above all, provide excellent food and service and encourage best practice. The award will go to an individual catering manager based at a school, hospital or other public institution, or to a larger organisation. If you think you know an individual or organisation who deserves to be the inaugural winner of this award, fill in the form on the back page of this brochure. All nominations should be in by Friday 4 February. Judges' criteria - The Public Sector Caterer of the Year Catey will go to a public sector individual or organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to the cost sector. The winner will possess the ability to combine innovation with sound financial performance, as well as being able to demonstrate clear achievements during the past 12 months. - The individual or organisation will have contributed to the cost sector in the areas of healthcare, education or institutional catering. Don't forget All nominations in this category MUST be accompanied by a supporting statement.
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