PSMI 2017

Meet the Public Sector 'most influential' Top 20 for 2017
In its ninth year now, Cost Sector Catering’s annual Public Sector ‘Most Influential’ (PSMI) list of the top 20 movers and shakers again reflects the major concerns that challenge the industry.

Of these concerns, obesity and malnutrition have ridden alongside the PSMI Top 20 list like two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the start of the annual exercise.

They remain huge issues, but as awareness grows of the prevalence of hunger among children this is reflected in the composition of this year’s list.

Lindsay Graham, who heads the Holiday Hunger Task Force that is part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, retains her place and is now joined by Judith Gregory, who has helped drive the award-winning School Holiday Enrichment Programme in Wales that provides meals for children outside of term time.

And with them are Rosie Oglesby, national director of Feeding Britain, a charity set up to implement recommendations made by MPs and peers on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, and Sharon Hodgson MP, the Labour shadow minister for public health.

Turbulent times demand strong leadership, so it is no surprise to see the various catering association heads listed for their undoubted influence. They are now joined by representatives of two important hospitality organisations: the British Hospitality Association and the Institute of Hospitality.

Their work on issues such as food price inflation, poor productivity, training and recruitment, and the likely impact of the UK leaving the EU is growing in significance.

Every year the judges manage to throw in a little surprise with a couple of unexpected names, and 2017 has proved no exception. So we welcome Sheila Dillon, the presenter of BBC radio’s Food and Farming Today programme, and Andy Kemp, Bidfood group sales and marketing director.

The annual Food & Farming Today Awards draw a large audience and serve to highlight innovative and creative suppliers and catering operators, while Kemp’s influence through his job role, but more especially the Government lobbying, advisory work, networking and mentoring this year earned him an honorary degree from the University of West London.

Let’s meet the full list:

PSMI Top 20 in 2017

• Gabriella Bittante, policy manager with the British Hospitality Association, the voice of the UK’s hospitality and tourism industry. It represents 180,000 businesses employing 4.5 million people.

• Tim Blowers, chair of Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), recently succeeded Sally Shadrack after two years as deputy chair. Also head of county catering service for Derbyshire County Council and a director of LACA since 2015.

• Geoff Booth, the chair of Professional Association of Catering Education (PACE), is guiding members through the minefield of the new apprenticeship levy scheme and partnering with Pearson on training and qualifications.

• Keith Breasley, chair of the Association of Service Solutions in Scotland (ASSIST), which represents all local authority school meal providers in the country and lobbies the Scottish government on behalf of the school catering industry.

• Sheila Dillon, food journalist best known as presenter of The Food Programme on Radio 4. The show’s influential Food & Farming Awards includes a category celebrating innovative mealtimes in a hospital, care home, school or workplace.

• Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality (IoH), the member organisation for industry managers, which is engaged in the accreditation and endorsement of hospitality training as the industry seeks to further professionalise its workforce.

• Lindsay Graham, independent government policy advisor on food and health, children’s food campaigner and lively tweeter. She is currently chair of the Holiday Hunger Task Force that is part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food.

• Judith Gregory, senior client officer with Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government’s free breakfast coordinator, a universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) adviser, and helps drive the School Holiday Enrichment Programme in Wales to feed children during the holidays.

• Sharon Hodgson, MP and Labour’s shadow minister for public health, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food and is a tireless advocate of UIFSM and schemes to combat holiday hunger among children.

• Andy Jones, chair of the PS100 Group that lobbies on behalf of the catering industry for measures to help improve public nutrition and combat the twin health concerns of obesity and malnutrition.

• Andy Kemp, Bidfood group sales and marketing director, recently awarded honorary doctorate at the University of West London for work on training catering students and was the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) Chair’s Award winner in 2017 for championing school meals.

• Stewart McKenzie, chair of the Hospital Caterers’ Association (HCA), which this year launched its first report on patient, staff and visitor feeding, called ‘NHS Patient Catering, UK – Four Nations Report’. He urges always a ‘patient-centred’ approach.

• Paul O’Brien, chief executive of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), which offers research, advice and networking among its 250 local authority members, helping them support school catering services.

• Rosie Oglesby, national director of Feeding Britain, an independent charity, established by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger. She is currently heading an enquiry into hunger among older people.

• Jeanette Orrey, the Soil Association’s school meals policy adviser and the original crusader for school food. Her influence is still felt today through her work with the Soil Association and as co-chair of the School Food Plan Alliance.

• Sian O’Shea, chair of the British Dietetic Association (BDA), which has this year, in collaboration with the HCA, updated its The Nutrition and Hydration Digest on the provision of hospital food to include staff and visitor feeding.

• Neel Radia, chair of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), the organisation for care home caterers and community meal providers. He’s overseen its 30th birthday plans this year and won the Cost Sector Catering Public Sector Award 2017.

• Owen Sidaway – head of catering services, offender employment skills and services with the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) – feeds the 86,000-plus prisoners in England and Wales three nutritious meals plus snacks a day for £1.87 per person.

• Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, is driving an initiative to improve the health of 1.3 million healthcare staff by ensuring they are always offered good quality, healthy choices of food and drink. He has banned sugary drinks from 2018.

• Matt White, chair of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO), is into his second year following a spell of more than three years as a director. He’s worked to increase cooperation among public sector catering groups, particularly on procurement.

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