Headlines: September 25th, 2014

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Universities and FE colleges have saved £11.4 million across their procurement budgets by using cost-effective supply frameworks.

The University Caterers Organisation, TUCO, provides frameworks for members with transparent fees, flexible purchasing and the benefits of the buying power of the organisation.

TUCO has built an enviable reputation operating on behalf of Higher and Further education institutions, which make up its core membership. However, as part of a new approach and growing market presence, it is increasingly extending its free-to-access frameworks to in-house local authority catering teams in the wider education sector, and NHS trust hospital caterers.

By opening up access TUCO’s already extensive buying power is strengthened, ensuring its position as a market leader. Its commitment to ‘better buying’ for its members has seen it develop unmatched sustainability policies, bringing dozens of SMEs and local producers onto its supplier lists and supporting members to create best practice initiatives.

Mike Haslin, TUCO Chief Operating Officer, commented:

“£11m is a significant figure and there is more that our members can do by joining together to further increase the benefits of community buying. The figure helps to highlight our commitment to procurement best practice and reflects the importance of extending and developing new links with related organisations outside of traditional membership.

We have worked hard over the past 12 months to provide more ways for those working in the public sector to enjoy greater value, security and opportunity from their purchasing decisions, offering framework agreements that save unbeatable rates of time and money through automatic compliance factors. As a not-for-profit organisation, we consider ourselves a perfect partner for public service operators, and it is our hope that we can continue to help share an ethos of procurement best practice without a profit-making agenda.”

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