The TUCO Winter Conference is a free annual event that gives TUCO members the opportunity to get together before Christmas to pick up some valuable insight ready to implement in the New Year. Each year features content from experts within the hospitality industry discussing practical tips to gain a competitive edge in the market, through to thought-provoking sessions on key issues.


The theme of the 2023 Winter Conference is 'The Cost-of-Living Crisis'. Speakers from across the industry will discuss topics that cover what institutions are doing to support students and future pricing challenges in the supply chain.

The event will also again see the launch of the current TUCO Global Food Trends with a Key note speech from Charles Banks (The Food People). 

Full Members have 1 full package (conference, dinner and accommodation) free of charge - please use the correct option when booking!


Tuesday 5th December:

A drinks reception and dinner will take place at Darwin College at The University of Kent from 19:45 till late.


Overnight stay (if required) in the centre of Canterbury.

Wednesday 6th December: Conference from 09:15 with refreshments available from 08:30. The day will be completed by 16:00.

Wednesday 6th December to Friday 8th December: Study Tour with visits to restaurants, local suppliers and pop up sites that reference back to the TUCO Global Food Trends.

Confirmed speakers for the conference include:

Anna Taylor

AnnaAnna joined The Food Foundation as its first Executive Director at the beginning of June 2015 after 5 years at the Department for International Development. At DFID Anna led the policy team on nutrition and supported the delivery of the UK’s global commitments to tackle undernutrition. Before joining DFID Anna worked for a number of international organisations including Save the Children and UNICEF. In 2014 she was awarded an OBE for her work to address the global burden of undernutrition. She did a MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1994. In May 2017 Anna became a member of the London Food Board to advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners. She is a Board member for Veg Power and an advisor to the International Food Policy Research Institute. She served as Chief Independent Adviser to Henry Dimbleby for the development of the National Food Strategy published in 2021.

Phillip Pothen

PhilPhilip Pothen is the Director of Engagement at the University of Kent, responsible for civic mission, including its Right to Food initiative. In partnership with the Food Foundation, the project is looking to embed the Right to Food in its research, teaching, and culture, championing the right to sustainable, accessible and healthy food for all.

Rapheal Mutu

RaphRapheal Mutu is an accounting and finance student at the University of Kent going into his 2nd year. Rapheal is the Gleaning Co-ordinator for Produced in Kent. He has always admired and been intrigued by the agri-horticulture sector. "Every living individual on earth partakes in the consumption of food and so this sector is very significant and yet it seems that at times it is completely ignored." His aim is to change this by encouraging more people in his generation to bring innovation and youthful zeal to the sector. Gleaning essentially means helping Kent growers to clear left-over crops in the field and redistribute these free of charge to food charities, foodbanks and community initiatives. Membership organisation for local food and drink businesses Produced in Kent and the University of Kent have set up a gleaning group with students and staff volunteers from the university, as well as members of the public.

Dr Iona Y Huang & Jon Bentley

IonaDr Iona Huang serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Food, Land & Agribusiness Management at Harper Adams University. Her research portfolio spans food loss and waste management, agri-food supply chain governance, agribusiness decision-making, and the hybrid cost-benefit analysis of agri-tech adoption and sustainable land use. Dr Huang’s research features the application of circular economy principles within the agri-food sector. Her recent engagements include projects funded by AHDB and DEFRA, addressing sustainable farming incentives, farm resilience, landscape recovery, and innovations in protected environment agriculture. Currently, her work focuses on the True Cost Accounting approach, assessing the sustainable value of farming practices and surplus food redistribution. She leads the food loss and waste research group at HAU.  Additionally, Dr Huang contributes as an expert to the ISO working group, aiding in the development of the ISO20001 management standard on minimising food loss and waste reduction in the food supply chain. 

JonSenior lecturer in Food Nutrition at Harper Adams University. I am responsible for a range of content including food/ nutrition, academic and research skills. I have an eclectic research background including exercise science, education and now food waste.



Tom Mansel


Tom has worked in food efficiency since 2010, designing and delivering high-impact resource efficiency programmes for a range of private and public sector players, as well as driving progress on UK national sustainable food production & consumption initiatives for the UK Government’s waste advisory body while at WRAP. As Director of Business Development EMEA at Leanpath, Tom works with universities globally to track and reduce their food waste using Leanpath’s award-winning platform and processes, used by thousands of kitchens worldwide to cut waste and its associated commercial and environmental impacts. Leanpath customers are currently saving a kilo of food waste from the bin every 2 seconds across the world.

James Payne & Charlie Burton 

JamesJames Payne has over 5 years pricing experience with Brakes. In his role he monitors global commodity market trends and assists the procurement function in using this insight to inform buying strategy and COGs management. He is also responsible for constructing Brakes’ price moves for corporate customers, ensuring changes are competitive and reflect the wider foodservice market.





Charlie Burton, Strategy Merchandising and Pricing Director.

25 years in foodservice and retail, leading teams across the disciplines of category management, buying and pricing. Built the team that created the current Brakes commercial pricing model from 2011 to the present.

Charles Banks


A fourth generation foodie, cooking at his mother's side in the kitchen is where Charles' passion for food began. Hours spent training as a chef led to him winning the title of Junior Chef of the Year. From there, he went to France to learn more, before returning home to take a degree in catering and business.

From high-street restaurants, he moved into new product development at Saxby’s. By the time he left for Grampian, Charles was head of this department, a role in which he would continue, working with, among others, Sainsbury’s. 

The Flygerians!The Flygerians

Jess and Jo, AKA The Flygerians, are two larger than life sisters who are bringing the sweet taste of Nigeria to the streets of London! They first started cooking from the ages of 9 and 10 – when their legendary grandma used to have them cooking up a Nigerian feast for the 5000. She used to host annual BBQs or ‘Mama’s cookouts’ that would bring together neighbours, family, friends and any random stranger that was strolling by and wanted in on the action. Everyone knew who she was because you could smell her food from miles away. She taught them that food was for everyone, and should hold no boundaries. She inspired them to always have a positive vibe and to share the love and bring people together! Nigerian Street food is a growing global trend and with mostly inexpensive ingredients can bring a great deal of flavour AND value in the cost of living crisis!


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