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Vending Industry Update Regarding Machines In Italy

***In Italy only***

It is safe to say that the past few weeks have been a blur and some confusion has risen regarding certain sectors and policies.

We are able to confirm that we have had communication from the AVA and EVA who have confirmed that in Italy only auto24 systems are closed. ALL other forms of vending are ok to use as long as hygiene measures as per government guidelines are adhered to.

We hope that this provides some clarification and we will continue to keep you updated during these trying times.

Please stay safe and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Berry Superfos Beverage Systems Update

Dear Valued Customer,

Further to yesterday’s Prime Minister’s address and for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and families we have decided to temporary close our main office in Kenfig, South Wales until further notice.

However, the factory remains open and fully operational. Our office staff will be working remotely and are contactable via e-mail and mobile.

Our factory is open and we are still making and delivering products, this is just our office staff. Please carry on sending in your orders.

Feel free to call or email me direct if you have any questions.

Nigel Cannon
UK Sales Manager
Berry Superfos Beverage Systems
Mobile: 07791 616235

Lockdown Guide


The UK Government have announced a nationwide lockdown to address the countries coronavirus outbreak.

In a special broadcast to the nation on 23 March 2020, the prime minister Boris Johnson said Britons must stay in their homes for at least three weeks. There are four very limited reasons that you are able to leave your home’s, this is to contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. The four exceptions are:

  • To travel to and from work, but only if work cannot be done at home and is completely necessary
  • To shop for food and medicine as infrequently as possible
  • To exercise (one form a day) this can be done only with members of your household or a dog and can be running, walking or cycling
  • To attend to a medical need or to give care or assistance to a vulnerable person

Here are some common questions and answers:

I am separated from my child’s parent. Can a child under 18 still see both parents?

Yes. Michael Gove, Cabinet Office minister stated that children should not be moving between households, however this may be necessary for separated parents therefore would be permissible.

I work in construction; can I still go to work?

Yes. Open air sites can continue but workers must follow social distancing advice. If builders cannot remain 2 meters apart, they should stay home.

I am a plumber; can I continue to work?

If it is an emergency call out yes, we need to stay safe but non-essential jobs should be avoided.

Can I deliver food to parents or those over 70, vulnerable or with health conditions?

It is “unlikely” police will be pulling cars over just for driving, as long as you leave the shopping outside their door with no contact it should be fine.

I volunteer to help the elderly/vulnerable, can I still do that?

Yes. Under the new lockdown rules, helping a vulnerable person counts as part of a medical reason to leave the house so you can continue to offer support.

Are independent food shops still open?

Several have decided to close or have moved to food delivery service or online orders only. The best thing to do is to check with them directly by phone or social media platforms.

I need to get to work – can I still use the bus, train or Tube?

People should avoid using public transport. If they have to and they are a key worker, they can. Social distancing rules still apply but as services have been reduced this is extremely difficult.

All non-essential use of public transport and non-essential travel should stop.

Can I go for a drive to elevate the stresses of self-isolation?

It is unlikely anybody will be pulled over by the police just for driving, as long as you do not meet with friends or family.

If I see a group of people hanging out in the park what should I do?

You should encourage people to disperse and if they do not then you can call the police who WILL be enforcing these new measures and have the powers to offer up fines and make arrests when needed.

Will the lockdown be extended?

The lockdown could very well continue after the three-week mark. This is if there are no improvements and if the virus intensifies.

Weddings, christenings and large social gatherings are all cancelled with the exception of funerals. Only immediate family may attend, but what does this mean?

Families still need to adhere to social distancing measures during a funeral. Only immediate relatives should be in attendance and if the church or crematorium has the facilities to do so the service could be streamed to extended members unable to attend. Close contact such as hugging should be avoided.

I need to refuel my car, are garages open?

Sites will remain open so people can get fuel and have repairs carried out. Car dealerships however will close.

I need to rent a car to get around so I don’t have to take public transport – can I?

Car hire companies can stay open, so people are able to get around if they absolutely need to, but social distancing needs to remain in practice.

My family member or friend cannot leave their home or are scared to, can I walk their dog or look after their pet?

People are only allowed to exercise once a day so ideally you should not take other peoples pets out as adhering to social distancing would be difficult and the chance of spreading the infection would become greater.

A message from Brita

What to do if you have not used your Brita Professional filter for over 4 weeks

  • Brita Professional water filters such as Purity and Purity C are designed to be installed on professional coffee machines and combination steam ovens to be used on a daily basis.
  • Brita recommends that the filter system not be decommissioned for a long period and that filter cartridges are replaced at a minimum of every 12 months
  • There may be a need for the professional coffee machine or combination steam oven to be turned off and will not be used for several weeks. When the equipment needs to be turned on and used again, Brita advises the following procedure should be followed for the Brita water filter, (The coffee machine or combination steam oven manufacturer may advise a separate process which should also be followed)
  • The filter needs to be flushed using the built in flush hose and flushing mechanism on the head of the filter according to the guidelines below. Once this is complete, the Brita Professional water filter is ready to be used again.

Purity range:

Purity 450 – 30 litres

Purity 600 – 60 litres

Purity 1200 – 120 litres

Purity C range:

C50 – 20 litres

C150 – 30 litres

C300 – 60 litres

C500 – 100 litres

C1100 – 180 litres

AC 1000 – 10 litres

If you need any help with flushing your Brita filter just give us a call on Tel:+44 (0)1869 365851 or email


Vendex 2020 update

As previously announced as a result of the latest #COVID2019 advice, Vendex Midlands is postponed to Tuesday 6 Oct 2020, however we now have further updates:

Due to the latest statement from the Prime Minister that the pandemic will peak in three month’s time, we feel it necessary to postpone the Glasgow show due to take place on June 9th to a later date that we will announce once this pandemic is over. This is in the best interests of all concerned in our industry, and venue staff.

Thank you for you understanding in these very difficult times.

Keep safe,


Kind regards,

Phil Reynolds

Brita & The Tea Academy


It is with great pleasure that we present The UK Tea Academy’s first white paper, on water for tea.

Water, which makes up to 99% or more of a cup of tea, is an often-overlooked ingredient that has a huge impact on the taste, aroma and appearance of every cup – and up until now it has not been considered in the same way as water for coffee.

Six months in the making, this report highlights the key ingredients of water which impact the brewing process of tea. It will also provide a standard water specification to create the optimal cup of tea.

A team from The UK Tea Academy has worked closely with BRITA to find the perfect water for tea.  BRITA has been our partner since we launched the Academy in 2016 and have provided the filters for all our training courses as freshly drawn, cold, Brita-filtered water is an essential part of getting the best from the tea leaves.

Jane Pettigrew, Tim Sturk and Carri Hecks from the UKTA visited BRITA HQ in Germany for the research trip. Working with Birgit Kohler, Brita’s Resident Water Sommelier, in the controlled environment of the BRITA lab, the team explored a number of different waters with varying pH and mineral content and compared them for aroma, taste, clarity, colour, etc for the different teas.

Following research of many different teas and many different waters, our white paper finally provides the ideal water specification needed to make the best brew.

You Can find out more here:

Michelle’s Trends

You may have read our latest Insider and wonder why I’m on the 2nd page instead of somewhere in the middle…..well Graham has gone on a well-deserved holiday, so I hope I can do as good a job as he has done for the past 10+ years!

Following on from my News & Views last month I would like to discuss further the subject of trends as it appears to be impacting a lot of social media feeds lately.

Just recently in ‘FoodBusinessNews’, a report has analysed the ‘Whole Foods’ trends in 2020. The predictions include products that embrace ‘Regenerative Agriculture’. This means that production practices create environmental benefits. For example, alternative flours are predicted to trend such as ‘cauliflower pizza crusts’. West Indian Cuisine is also set to become more popular and for our marketplace, the ‘fresh snack’ is due to accelerate. This will present challenges for operators, with possible regard to refrigerated storage and vehicles, but if this is a growing trend, it is something for us to reflect upon. Sugar may also go under more review with the availability of alternative sweeteners such as honey, monk fruit, pomegranate, coconut, and dates. If you have seen our NIVO Blog on 14th February, I made myself a birthday cake to share with the team using honey and yoghurt instead of sugar and butter…….it was delicious and only 175 calories a slice instead of over 400 (typically).

Another trend that may affect Vending is the ‘Zero-proof drinks’ that are emerging. These are alternatives to alcohol (I know! Really?), that are created to mimic the flavours of cocktails by infusing flavours and using herbs and spices. From Spirits (0%) to Tea, Coffee, Ginger Beer, and Ale, so ‘watch this space’. Our NIVO Approved Suppliers have some great alternatives, just ring me or one of the team OR even better follow our social feeds and look on our website.

Sustainability may not be correctly categorised as a ‘trend’ as today it is more of a requirement but be gentle with me! The food system plays a crucial role in climate change and as more knowledge is shared, we are seeing more ‘free from’ consumers. Others who are concerned and chose to change their eating habits to try and assist the planet also select these items. Veganism is on the increase. For example, Millennials especially will follow an ‘un-diet’. What is that? This is a diet that helps you lose weight without starving yourself. I can’t explain it, but it is something to look out for. My daughter has decided to be Vegan with a caveat that food waste comes first. I think that this is a good trend because with the reduction in food packaging, I predict, will come an increase in food waste – a demonstration of the law of unintended consequences. Food waste represents roughly one-third of the food produced in the world or 1.3 billion tonnes! It is also reported that there has been an 80% uplift in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s which, Thomas O’Neill, head of food marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland stated, “It is time for the dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers.” So more vegetarian/vegan options may be a good idea to consider. ‘Oat Milk’ is another trend as plant-based products are on the rise. On writing, it was reported in the news that The Vegan Society has released guidelines for employers looking to support vegan employees in the workplace.

They recommend different shelves in the fridges for vegans and supplying plant-based milk if they supply animal milk to ensure equality.

So, to Social Media, you know that this plays an important role in shaping consumers’ eating behaviours. A new study from Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences, Birmingham found that people in the study ate an extra 5th portion of fruit and vegetable for every portion they thought their social media peers ate. Facebook users similarly ate an extra portion of unhealthy snack foods and drinks for every 3 portions they believed their online ‘friends’ did. Granted it was found that this was a subconscious decision, but it has great potential for Vending Operators and the NIVO Approved Suppliers alike. This is the 1st study of its kind, so I will be looking out for future ones to see if the results are the same.

As always, we have many options through our NIVO Approved Supply Members, so go on to our website for their details and follow our social media feeds. Who knows we might influence you to try new things?


Nestle to change coffee recycling scheme:

Nestlé are to launch a new recycling scheme for its Dolce Gusto and Nespresso capsules. This was first exclusively revealed in The Grocers January 18th edition. The scheme will be named Podback and offer a combined solution for consumer recycling of both capsules. The exact logistics of Podback are yet to be revealed, Nestlé said that the solution would require collected pods to be separated and separately processed after collection. The existing scheme is relatively successful however improvements are to be continuously made and Nestlé are actively looking at ways to achieve better results. Podback is still in its early stages and more details will be released throughout the year, in the meantime Nestlé are encouraging customers to continue to use the current schemes in place. Both brands can currently be recycled by collecting the capsules in a plastic bag and taking them to a drop off point. Nespresso capsules can also be taken to Nespresso Boutiques as well as over 7,500 CollectPlus and Doddle locations, while Dolce Gusto can only be taken to CollectPlus.

Automatic Retailing Northern Delivery Trucks

The Mercedes-Benz Actros has long been a winner at the pumps for Automatic Retailing – but the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne-based snack specialist is confidently anticipating the best fuel performance yet from its latest trucks.

That’s because the two tractor units are from the new-generation Actros range, which boasts a raft of innovations designed to boost economy, as well as enhancing safety and driver appeal.

Supplied by north-east Dealer Bell Truck and Van, both are 2545 models with range-topping GigaSpace cabs and 12.8-litre ‘straight-six’ engines which produce 330 kW (450 hp). They are now working alongside Automatic Retailing’s 15 other tractor units, nine of which also wear three-pointed stars.

“Our Actros have consistently returned between 10.5 and 11 mpg,” said Transport Manager James Elliott. “These are fantastic figures, but we fully expect our new trucks to do even better. It’s not only about fuel, though, because they also represent a big step forward in terms of safety and cab comfort.”

Automatic Retailing supplies a wide range of snack and drink products, plus ancillaries, to vending machine operators. Its articulated combinations typically leave base at gross weights of around 35 tonnes, and do not back-haul – it prefers 6×2 tractors, however, because of the flexibility they offer to tackle heavier loads when necessary. The company also relies on three 26-tonne curtainsiders, two of which are also by Mercedes-Benz, to undertake smaller deliveries to sites with restricted access.

The new-generation Actros incorporates more than 60 innovations, among them MirrorCam, the Multimedia Cockpit and enhanced versions of the established Active Brake Assist and Predictive Powertrain Control systems.

MirrorCam does away with conventional door mirrors. Instead, rear-facing cameras display images of the view down each side of the vehicle on screens inside the cab. This ground-breaking technology contributes to Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Greater Safety commitment by offering a wider and clearer field of rearward vision, and eliminating previous blind spots. The compact, more aerodynamic profile of the camera housings also improves mpg returns by reducing wind resistance.

Automatic Retailing’s Actros are equipped with the stylish, high-tech Multimedia Cockpit, which sets a new benchmark for connectivity and intuitive operation. It features two interactive screens, and permanently connects the vehicle to the Cloud via a new Truck Data Centre. As well as choosing the biggest cabs available, Automatic Retailing treated its drivers to optional StyleLine interiors which include luxury design touches such as leather-trimmed steering wheels and extensive chrome trim.


The Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking system represents another important step forward thanks to its improved pedestrian recognition capability, while the latest version of Predictive Powertrain Control – which uses 3D GPS mapping to ‘read’ the road ahead, then responds by managing speed, braking and the transmission to maximise fuel efficiency – offers much increased functionality.

Automatic Retailing serves customers throughout the UK and Ireland. “Good drivers are hard to come by, and ours are out on the road all week,” continued Mr Elliott. We feel it’s important, therefore, to provide them with a comfortable, high-quality working and living environment. The GigaSpace cab is extremely spacious and offers loads of storage, while the new Multimedia Cockpit has already been very well received.

“The new trucks look fantastic too,” he added. “Our drivers and their vehicles are the visible face of the company to our customers, so it’s vital that they present an image of quality and professionalism. Like Mercedes-Benz, we’re not a ‘bargain basement’ supplier. Instead, we offer top-quality products backed by first-class customer service, and our new Actros are now helping us to deliver on that promise.”

Pladis Sugar Reduction Press Release 2020

McVitie’s has reduced sugar in the nation’s favourite biscuits, without compromising on taste or ‘dunkability’

• McVitie’s is reducing sugar in nine of the nation’s favourite biscuits by up to 10%, without compromising taste, in a breakthrough in sugar reduction
• The new, reformulated McVitie’s Original Digestives contain 9% less sugar and 5% less salt
• The brand tested the new-recipe biscuits with McVitie’s superfans to prove the reduction in sugar could not be tasted and used a ‘mechanical dunking arm’ in a testing lab to ensure dunking was not affected

20 February, 2020: London, United Kingdom: pladis, the global snacking company behind British brand McVitie’s, is reducing sugar in nine of the nation’s favourite biscuits, removing 785 tonnes of sugar from Brits’ diets every year.

The change comes amid years of nutritional improvements by pladis across its product range in order to help people achieve healthier lifestyles.
The reformulated biscuits include McVitie’s Original Digestives, McVitie’s Rich Tea, McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives (Milk and Dark), McVitie’s Original Hobnobs, McVitie’s Chocolate Hobnobs (Milk and Dark), McVitie’s Caramel Digestives and McVitie’s Ginger Nuts, which make up over 50% of all McVitie’s sales in the UK1.

The first of the reformulated biscuits to have hit the shelves is McVitie’s Original Digestives with 9% less sugar and 5% less salt, but with the same unique sweet and savoury taste combination. Previously at just 16.6g of sugar per 100g, McVitie’s Original Digestives were already one of the lowest-sugar biscuits available and well below Public Health England’s target of 26.2g of sugar per 100g, but now contain just 15.1g of sugar per 100g.

In addition, following further reformulations to some of the country’s highest-selling sweet biscuits: 

• McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits now contain just 18.5g of sugar per 100g;
• McVitie’s Original Hobnobs now contain 22.9g of sugar per 100g;
• McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestives now contain 28.5g sugar per 100g;
• McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestives now contain just 26.6g sugar per 100g. 

The new recipes have been achieved through a careful re-balancing of ingredients to reduce sugar and salt, in order to get below, or as close to, Public Health England’s target as possible while maintaining McVitie’s distinctive taste. Pladis’ Research and Development team tested the change with hundreds of consumers, including a group of self-confessed McVitie’s super fans, to ensure that the reduction in sugar could not be spotted*.

They even made sure the biscuits tasted exactly the same when dunked in a cup of tea and used a ‘mechanical dunking arm’ in the laboratory to record the time to break when dunked.

David Murray, managing director of pladis UK & Ireland, said: “For years, we have been working on reducing sugar in the nation’s favourite biscuits. It is an exceptionally complex process because our fundamental philosophy is that we will absolutely not compromise on taste or the quality of ingredients. 

“99.1% of all households in the UK buy biscuits and McVitie’s continues to be the number one biscuit brand in the UK, so we know that if we are to truly help the nation lead healthier lives, we need to take sugar out of our biggest-selling biscuits. However, we have an incredibly loyal fan base who have grown up eating our biscuits, so if they no longer liked the taste then the whole programme would fail.

“By testing our new lower-sugar biscuits with hundreds of consumers to ensure that they cannot tell the difference, and by implementing a process of careful rebalancing of ingredients, we have reduced sugar and salt while maintaining the unique sweet and savoury taste combination that makes McVitie’s biscuits so distinctive.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “We’re pleased that McVitie’s is the latest household name to commit to offering healthier products.
“This announcement shows reducing sugar in biscuits is possible and we look forward to seeing further reductions in the future.”

Currently, 96% of pladis’ products sold in the UK & Ireland contain 200 calories or less per recommended serving, where two biscuits typically equal one serving. pladis has also introduced new lower sugar snacks including McVitie’s Digestives Twists, McVitie’s Granola Oat Bakes and go ahead! Nutty Crunch.                                                

(*Based on Nielsen RMS data for the Sweet Biscuit Category (pladis defined) for the 12-month period ending 25.01.2020 for the UK total retail market (Copyright (c) 2019, Nielsen)


NIVO Lingfield Seminar 2020

We have just returned from our first seminar and networking event of 2020 at Lingfield Park. There are several reasons why we bring our regional roadshows to you.  You will hear from industry experts and discover innovative products and services. In addition, you will get the latest updates and ideas from the industry by taking part in the debates.

The seminars are tailored for operators working to improve knowledge, profits and services.

The topics currently being presented and debated are focused on legislation affecting cashless payments, micro-market developments & the latest technology and how to use it. We were delighted to see the amount of audience participation from both our members and suppliers alike in the debates. This is a sneaky preview of the key points:

Cashless Payment Systems

  • What is the new/revised finance legislation and how will it affect Operators?
  • Expectations on system developments – what does the future look like?
  • Expectations on use of cash – general and through vending?
  • Value of system reports?
  • Expectations on costs?


Environmental Issues 

  • Latest legislation – reality and threats?
  • The future of cup manufacture in the UK – plastic and paper?
  • What about filters and plastic bottles?
  • Reusable Cups – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – The opportunity?


How you our Operators can share in the Micro-Market world?

  • A bit about systems……
  • A bit more about products and how to get them….
  • Vending Machines or Micro Markets?

Come and join us at our next seminar and have your say: NIVO South West Business Seminar & Networking Event, Bath Racecourse, Paddock Pavilion. 11:30am, 13th May 2020. As a thank you for your support we would like to invite you for a complimentary meal & evening at the races.

Everyone is sure to learn something new to take back to their business.

Eat Real Snacks success with Transport of London

A word from Graham: Something old, something new?

Something old, something new?


I wonder if you are one of the great majority of people for whom the consumption of chocolate is a regular, if not daily event. Most of us love the stuff, and for the vending industry that is just as well. With vending hot drinks sales in a slow but steady decline, the sales performance of confectionery, snacks, and cold drinks through vending, has gone a long way to ensuring on-going success and profitability for many vending operators. In an endeavour to address the hot drink issues, most have moved to a high street style of coffee drink to woo consumers. This made me think about whether we could apply the same concept to sales of hot drinking chocolate. After all, we are talking about a taste most people adore, and we have evidence to suggest that this would be a great time to review our offering. British chocolate company Hotel Chocolat, for example, has had immense growth and success with UK consumers providing additional support to this idea. Their sales growth was up 14% last year and they are expanding into international markets to accelerate even further. The ethical nature of their offering gives further credence to this idea, tapping in, as it does, to the current environmental and ethical psyche of the average UK consumer. Their experience suggests that in 2020 we vending operators need to be doing things differently if we are going to continue to prosper. “Differently” could mean revisiting something we have done for years but not reviewed for some time. Consumer trends have always been crucial to retail and foodservice, but never more than now. We all vend hot chocolate, and it has generally been a consistent seller. But we need growth, and if we only do the same things, generally we will only get the same result. Perhaps now would be a great time to speak to Nestlé, Mondeléz, Ferrero, Aimia, Barry Callebaut, Kerry Foods or anyone we currently buy ingredients from. We can review our menus to help give consumers more of what they want.

As for “something new”. A report from one global analyst suggests that the evolution and growth of consumer consciousness and conscience, is not going to end. As a result, the preference to eat “smart diets” will grow. To some degree, we can blame the media and the Internet, but we are all increasingly health and environmentally concerned. It’s just a fact of life in 2020 so these facts WILL ultimately affect the vending industry. Sooner or later, we are told to expect the drive away from sugar, especially as more sugar based sweeteners improve in quality, flavour and price. Equally important will be environmental packaging. One possibility is that packaging will even be edible! See Quick news on page 17 for more on this. Frankly, the mind boggles. Consuming less, but better, is another mantra being promoted. This should make us think about our plan-o-grams and the price individuals might now be prepared to pay in contrast to say 2 or 3 years ago. As to what those products might be, consider the following; larger sharing bag opportunities, product development innovations from Nestlé, Mondeléz, and Mars, plus a vast array of energy/protein/healthier bars that are growing increasingly popular. NIVO will continue to search for more of these options to help the process, whether it be older products or new ones that consumers want.


Michelle’s Birthday Blog

Happy 14th February!

As it is my 21st birthday I thought I would treat you all to a secret.  I cook and bake!  Yes, I know, hard to believe with my stick like figure  

With this in mind, over the coming year we are going to look at the wonderful NIVO Supplier Members that we work with and explore their websites and news feeds to cook up some lovely recipes.  Graham, Karen and Gemma are going to be your judges on how good the ingredients are.  Warning: I may adapt recipes to suit! 

(Unfortunately, Graham is on holiday, so he misses this first one  

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cake 


  •  2/3 cup skim milk 
  •  1 egg 
  •  1/2 cup honey 
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract 
  •  1/4 cup Greek yogurt 
  •  1 cup all-purpose flour OR whole wheat flour OR gluten free flour 
  •  3/4 tsp baking soda 
  •  4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted) 
  •  1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (OR sugar free chocolate chips) 
  •  1 cup fat free cool whip 


This is how it should look……… 


This is my version ……….. 


 I used Barry Callebaut dark drinking chocolate in the cake and for the topping Ferrero White Kinder Bueno and Mondelez Mini Oreos. 

Happy Birthday to me and thank you to the NIVO Team for sharing it with me. 

Clive Gazzard “One of a kind”

Clive Gazzard – 1963 – 2020 Age 56.

It is with a heavy heart that Coffetek announces the passing of one of our much-loved colleagues – Clive Gazzard.

Clive was an outstanding member of the team, who was respected throughout our industry for his personality, expertise and caring nature. Clive’s ability to help people was legendary, never too busy and always there if you needed him.

Clive had an exemplary career within the Coffee and Vending Industry, firstly with Stentorfield (now Crane Merchandising Systems), Wittern, Westomatic and since 2013 with Coffetek. His knowledge unrivalled, his professionalism unquestioned.

On a personal level, Clive managed to delight everyone he worked with, his smile, his sense of humor and of course his laugh!

We have lost a colleague and a friend.

Born in Bristol, Clive was married to Tina, who will miss him dearly.

The funeral will take place on Friday 28th February, 14.45, at Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh Rd, Westerleigh, Bristol BS37 8RF. The wake will be held afterwards at Kings Head Public House, 277-279 Whitehall Rd, Whitehall, Bristol BS5 7BH.

Everyone is welcome and openly encouraged to attend.

The NIVO team offer their sincere condolences to Clive’s family, friends and colleagues.

Progress on plastic

The statistics around plastics are quite a scary read – there are 100 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and this figure is set to rise by eight million tonnes a year, while only 10% of plastics currently used have been recycled since recycling’s introduction in the 1960’s.

The consequences on what steps need to be taken remain unclear when we look at the issue on an international level. At an industry level, however the steps being taken are more encouraging.

Many consumer product companies are now committed to increasing the amount of recycling they are part of but more work is required. Unilever raised the bar by doubling the amount of plastic they recycle and Coca Cola are aiming to up the amount they recycle to 50% by 2025 but more commitment needs to be made by all industries globally.

One interesting idea is consumer deposit schemes and reverse vending machines. A number of these have been cropping up in Scotland and are supplied by Scobie McIntosh. The idea is to reward consumers for returning plastics to be recycled and they are being trailed at places like Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Coca-Cola.

All businesses, big and small need to monitor and increase their green footprint, this is arguable one of the biggest topics within most industries today. We have also seen a shift in what consumers expect from corporations so focusing on this is certainly going to be a positive.

Creating social change with female coffee farmers

International NGO Farm Africa are helping woman change the face of the coffee industry in Western Uganda. Global coffee prices are at the lowest they have been in 16 years meaning that being a small holder farm owner is extremely challenging and few producers are able to make a profit.

Woman are greatly affected by this as they tend to have less access to land, coffee plants and finance options. Woman are also under-represented in coffee cooperatives even though they contribute the bulk of related labour and generate its value in the coffee growing region of Kanungu.

Men have the monopoly over coffee processing and marketing meaning they have control over the income generated but woman in Kanungu are working to change that with the help of International NGO Farm Africa. The aim is to empower young female coffee farmers to boost yields and earn more from their efforts meaning they can overcome the barriers stopping them from thriving in this industry.

Funding has come from the European Union and the UK government with Farm Africa training lead farmers and cooperative staff to deliver knowledge of sustainable production to meet high demand. Farm Africa will also look to support the planting of new coffee plants, use of fertilisers and training for commercial coffee production. Farmers will also be receiving support to add value to their products through micro washing stations and storage solutions.

The programme is helping young female farmers and groups of women become part of coffee cooperatives and is working with families to build up their businesses and gain control and access to land. Female farmers are also being given advice on saving and loan associations to help with funding their endeavours.

This combined package of support is specifically designed to ensure the female farmers increase their earning by selling more of their crop, even while the global price is low.

In October, female farmers from Kanungu took part in the Thousand Trees Challenge, working with senior members from the British food industry to plant 1,000 fruit trees to boost soil quality and improve food security in the region. The challenge has raised over £50,000 for Farm Africa.

The Thousand Trees Challenge was organised as part of Farm Africas Food for Good network, which unites global food and farming businesses behind the power of food to change lives in eastern Africa. The support that these farmers are receiving is life changing and it means that more woman and children can be independent, gain an education and have a better quality of life.

Bamboo Cups

Re-useable bamboo cups tested and criticized


With an obvious shift in consumer’s attitudes becoming ever more apparent, a huge focus on re-usable, eco-friendly and recyclable products has become important in most businesses. Food and vending industries can already feel the impact of this change so how can we tell if a product is the real deal? Bamboo cups have been marketed as one environmental break through, but is this really the case?

A German consumer organization have found high levels of melamine and formaldehyde migration from re-usable bamboo-based cups and have condemned it misleading to advertise them as recyclable and eco-friendly.

On July 23, 2019, the German based organization Stiftung Warentest published an article investigating the concentration of melamine that migrates into drinks from bamboo-based, re-useable cups. The organization carried out tests on twelve re-useable bamboo cups. Each cup was filled with 3% acetic acid and kept at 70 degrees Celsius for two hours to simulate contact with a hot drink such as coffee. This was repeated seven times for each cup. Measurements showed that four of the twelve cups resulted in ‘very high amounts of melamine’ (CAS 108-78-1) after the third filling. In three of the other cups, this occurred after the seventh filling. High concentrations of formaldehyde were also measured.

The article reminds readers that such bamboo cups cannot be made from bamboo alone and rely on the addition of melamine-formaldehyde resin to serve as a glue to hold the bamboo together. It warns specifically against the use of such cups in microwaves and also criticizes manufacturer claims advertising the recyclability and biodegradability of the cups. It explains that as the cups are made with melamine, they will neither degrade in the environment nor within industrial composting facilities for many years. The cups are also not recyclable in traditional material recycling processes. Only waste to energy incineration is an option.

Concerns about migration from bamboo food contact materials and marketing efforts labelling them as ‘eco-friendly’ were also published in a recent discussion document from an EU working group (FPF reported). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recently classified melamine as being “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (FPF reported).


Bamboo cups may be heading in the right direction but this evidence suggests that we are not yet where consumers expect us to be. It is vital that we continue to research ways to supply the products that customers, and our planet demands.


Source: Food Packaging –

AA update on storm Ciara

Storm Ciara weather warnings – AA driving advice

With Storm Ciara predicted to wreak havoc across much of the UK this weekend, the AA is advising drivers to take care on the roads.

Weather warnings are in place across the UK until Tuesday (11 Feb). Strong winds and rain are expected to cause travel disruption and dangerous driving conditions.

Ben Sheridan, AA Patrol of the Year, advises: “Visibility is going to be really poor in areas taking the brunt of Storm Ciara so drivers need to stay vigilant”.

“It’s a really unpleasant combination and roads can quickly become blocked by fallen trees and flooding so give yourself plenty of extra time for your journeys and keep an eye on road closures and diversions before you set off. Make sure you always drive to the conditions – if you ignore warning signs there’s a real risk of aquaplaning or causing serious damage to your car. You’ve got to leave twice as much space between you and the car in front to account for greater stopping distances. Even if the road looks clear, wind can blow vehicles and debris into your path so you need to stay alert”.

“Driving conditions can quickly deteriorate during stormy weather, with drains becoming swamped and standing water causing problems such as surface spray, reduced visibility and potentially leading to flooding, so drivers will need to take extra care and expect delays, even on motorways.”

Drivers can check conditions for their route using AA Roadwatch.

More advice on driving in winter is available on the AA website.

AA tips for driving in strong wind:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel.
  • Be ready for stronger winds and gusts on exposed stretches of road, or when passing high-sided vehicles.
  • Keep your speed down – strong gusts won’t blow you as far off course.
  • Take care around cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders.
  • Keep your distance from other vehicles, especially high-sided vehicles and caravans.
  • Twigs or small branches in the road could mean there’s a tree or large branch in the way around the next bend.
  • Partially fallen trees can hang above the sweep of your headlights, making them hard to spot.
  • Plan your journey carefully, checking weather and traffic bulletins regularly. Expect lower speed limits or temporary closures on exposed bridges, and road closures due to fallen debris or accidents.


Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy 2020

NIVO was privileged to be invited to the opening of the new Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy facility on 23rd January 2020 in the UK. This is just 1 of 23 academies across the world.

The UK CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ centre is based in Banbury, Oxfordshire and is a ‘State of the Art’ purpose-built training environment with eight individual workstations, allowing for one-to-one, hands-on tuition. The Academy is situated adjacent to the factory allowing easy access for tours of the Barry Callebaut plant.

The teachers include some distinguished chefs from both the United Kingdom and Europe to help run the courses, all of whom have extensive knowledge, expertise, and experience in the field of chocolate.

The day started with a great introduction from Robert Harrison and Tracy Southwell (Sales Director) who explained how Barry Callebaut, by 2025 through their Forever Chocolate program, will lift 500,000 cocoa farmers in their supply chain out of poverty, eradicate child labour from their supply chain, become carbon and forest positive and have 100% sustainable ingredients in all of their products. This non-profit organisation aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities. Barry Callebaut has 161 employees on Ivory Coast to ensure standards and workers are protected.Robert and Tracy’s passion for the work that Barry Callebaut do in the field of sustainability and protecting the workers from plantation to product was more than evident. They both gave their time to the whole day ensuring all guests understood how each element affected their business.

Julie Sharp, Senior Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut took us through the history of chocolate (cacao) and the origin and careful process that Barry Callebaut maintains to grow and nurture the bean from the plantation(s) through to the delicious chocolate products that we enjoy in the UK.

Julie has been sharing her chocolate expertise at the UK Chocolate Academy since 2011. Her career led her to be Head Pastry Chef at prestigious venues in London, and five stars venues overseas. Recognised for her contribution to the Pastry world, Julie was invited to become a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs. After completing a Certificate of Education, an opportunity arose for her to combine her love for pastry, travel, and teaching and she joined Barry Callebaut as Chocolate Academy Chef. More recently she was honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and also invited to be a Fellow of Westminster Kingsway College.

After a Vegan lunch specially prepared, we moved on to understanding the intricacies of specially chosen products and then the applications that can be used to make all sorts of delicious outcomes from drinking chocolate to fudge and cake! We were again honoured with experts in the field, including Beverley Dunkley and Mark Tilling. We learned so much in a short space of time, we would recommend that if you get the chance to go it is well worth it to benefit from the team’s experience and knowledge.

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