Catering equipment industry calls for voice in Europe after Brexit

Leading independent contract catering provider, Olive Catering Services, ended a record-breaking year for the business on a high note by claiming three high-profile new contracts.

Senior members of the catering equipment sector have met with government representatives at Downing Street to present the industry’s position on Brexit, it has emerged. 

Trade body CESA was granted face-time with Lord Bridges, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, at 9 Downing Street to discuss the sector’s position on the issue.

The meeting lasted 50 minutes and was “very positive”, according to Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA.

He said: “The government are keen to engage with our industry, they want to know about the sector and what it needs.”

Also present at the meeting to represent the catering equipment industry were Lord Trefgarne, patron of CESA, Keith Warren, director of CESA, and Phil Williams and Richard Cromwell, who are both on the CESA Council.

Lord Bridges said the government aims to have reached an agreement about its future partnership with the EU by the time the two-year Article 50 process has concluded.

In addition, the employment needs of the sector were discussed, with CESA requesting that self-certification should remain in place for UK companies to CE mark equipment (excluding gas equipment).

Left-to-right: Keith Warren, Phil Williams, Lord Trefgarne, Glenn Roberts and Richard Cromwell at Westminster before the meeting with Lord Bridges.

“Lord Bridges understands that it’s critical that we get clarity on exactly what catering equipment companies will need to do to sell into Europe, post-Brexit,” said Roberts. “Just as important is the question of how we can influence EU policy if we don’t have a seat at the table.

“For example, currently we are involved in the continuing development of MEPS tests, under the Ecodesign Directive. If we’re not involved, European manufacturers will impose their preferred test standards, without any input from British companies. We also discussed CESA’s desire for the UK to develop our own policies in these areas, ensuring we are keeping pace with the EU, and the importance CESA places on government prioritising this.”

The meeting follows the Government’s publication of the green paper, ‘Building Our Industrial Strategy’.

“CESA is taking the lead in presenting the position of the catering equipment industry to government, following consultation with our members and other trade associations,” continued Roberts. “However, I would urge any catering equipment company or organisation with an interest in trade with Europe to respond to the green paper direct.”

Copies of the green paper area available from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s consultation hub, at beisgovuk.citizenspace.com.

Responses must be submitted by April 17 2017.

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