Global Foodservice Equipment Summit seeks solutions to industry challenges

International cooperation leads to initiatives to tackle sustainability, BIM, the skills shortage and more.

Delegates at the inaugural Catering Equipment Global Summit in MilanThe inaugural Global Foodservice Equipment Summit, which took place on Thursday 22 October in Milan, has set up a series of initiatives that could have far-reaching implications for the foodservice industry.

The three associations leading the Summit are EFCEM, the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers, of which CESA is a member; NAFEM, the North American Federation of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers; and NAFES, the National Association of Food Equipment and Suppliers, which covers Australia and New Zealand. Also participating is FCSI EAME (the Foodservice Consultants Society International of Europe-Africa-Middle East).

They are seeking international solutions to challenges that face the global food industry, ranging from the need to meet climate change commitments to the increasing regulatory burdens on equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

With the United Nations climate change conference scheduled for the end of November, the Summit tasked EFCEM with producing a white paper on the Circular Economy Package, focusing on how to make equipment more sustainable. This has implications, for example, in the design of products to ensure servicing and maintenance are as easy as possible: A* energy-rated products will only stay A* if they are looked after. Similarly, products must use more recyclable parts – so that new equipment is built from raw materials harvested from old.

The Summit also agreed that international cooperation will lead to the pooling of resources, data and statistics. A framework is being developed for statistics gathering, to make sure that data is compatible. Similarly, a work party is being set up to ensure that industry definitions are understood – so that the same question is being asked in different areas.

When it comes to international standards and regulations, the world is becoming increasingly complex. The Summit agreed to a Global Liaison Committee to investigate the implications for manufacturers and look into the possibility of establishing international standards.

There will also be international cooperation to establish global standards for BIM – including recommendations on the software used to create BIM models.

The skills shortage and the need to develop industry leaders for tomorrow are critical issues around the world. Representatives at the Summit agreed to the development of joint training and education programmes – ranging from the further expansion of the CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) accreditation scheme, which is designed to raise the level of professionalism in the industry, to the development of courses designed to help new employees get the most from their work.

The next Global Foodservice Equipment Summit is planned to take place during Hotelympia 2016 in London, 29 February to 3 March. More details will be released nearer the time.

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 170 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment – from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk

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