25th Jan 2012 - 00:00
We’ve made a good start, now we need to build on it. The response on the day to our PS100 launch event in December was overwhelmingly positive, as has been the feedback since.
It seems clear that, as an industry, public sector caterers know the challenges they face and the help they need to overcome them. What we have achieved so far is to determine three clear objectives that address many of your concerns and suggest a way to implement them. They are: • Protected mealtimes across all sectors • Food standards from cradle to grave • The appointment of a Foodservice 'Tsar' In other words, if the Government is serious about following through on its talk about good nutrition and the health of the nation it needs to engage with caterers in the key sectors that touch people throughout their lives whether at school, university, workplace, hospital or care home. The cost to the NHS alone of treating ill health as a result of obesity and poor nutrition is forecast to be £51 billion by 2050. That means almost half of the current health budget will be spent dealing with largely preventable diseases. These figures take no account of the economic costs to business and society of poor health on such a large scale. No one benefits from perpetuating a system that so obviously impoverishes society. So, what happens next? PS100 can provide a platform for the industry to speak with one voice on our three key aims. But to be persuasive, we need a body of evidence that can help build a powerful argument for that voice. That is why Cost Sector Catering will be coordinating a document that brings together the many pieces of relevant research carried out in recent years into health and nutrition. Armed with such solid data, PS100 supporters will then be well-placed to pool their resources, share contacts and lobby hard for the three key aims. We expect this document to be ready towards the end of April 2012. In the meantime, the next PS100 mini-conference is scheduled for Thursday 12th April between 2.30pm and 4.30pm, at the Hilton London Metropole. Briefly, this will feature a government lobbying expert who will offer a presentation discussing tactics on how to co-ordinate our approach and messages; there will also be a mystery guest who will be helping to front our campaign as it develops. More details of the mini-conference will follow in the next week or two. It will last no longer than 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to spend a few hours afterwards at Hotelympia, our vital industry exhibition. If you have any questions or queries, please don't hesitate to contact us.