The University Caterers Organisation extends buying power to schools

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has announced that it is opening its ‘not for profit’ frameworks up to school caterers.

Online PR News – 19-September-2014 – London – The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) is extending its buying power of £150 million annually to the entire education sector, as schools prepare to cope with the implementation of Universal Infant Free School Meals.

Having recently renegotiated a number of key framework agreements, driving even greater value and added-value service when it comes to buying catering products through its frameworks, TUCO is offering any in-house local authority catering team operating across key stages one, two and three access to its best value prices, through its free-to-access framework agreements.

Traditionally TUCO has operated on behalf of Higher and Further education’ institutions, which make up its core membership. However, as part of its new approach and growing market presence TUCO has extended its influence for the benefit of school caterers in what it says is a ‘natural extension’ of its current membership body.

Local authorities who utilise TUCO’s framework agreements will automatically be fully compliant with legislative requirement, (which states that purchases over £173,934 must be spent through a compliant contract or agreement) whilst also being able to benefit from the organisation’s collective spending power which boosts its ability to lead the market and offer highly competitive prices. As a result TUCO members have saved a collective £11.4 million in the past 12 months.

All TUCO framework agreements are independently audited, with all stages of the process documented for transparency. Categories cover food, beverages and catering related products and are always entered into, with additional factors in mind such as costs, safety, market trends and product appeal.

In using a framework agreement members and related organisations mitigate huge risk that comes with making independent purchasing decisions.

Mike Haslin, TUCO Chief Operating Officer, commented:

“This is a significant announcement for not only our members but for broader local authorities who can now take advantage of the benefits on offer to them. TUCO is committed to procurement best practice, and by extension to developing new links with related organisations outside of our traditional membership, so they might benefit from the most positive aspects of our framework agreements.

“The cost and time saving through compliance factors that can be made using a TUCO framework agreement cannot be matched, and as a not-for-profit organisation we consider ourselves a perfect partner for public sector operators, offering them great value and opportunity as part of a collective that shares an ethos of best practice without the onus of profit-making.”

Recently negotiated TUCO framework agreements include fresh and frozen meat and light catering equipment. TUCO partners with some of the leading suppliers in the sector, as well as actively seeking partnerships with smaller, local partners.