Three of the world’s largest catering equipment associations have pledged to pool their expertise and knowledge to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the industry globally.
The European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM), North American Federation of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) and the National Association of Food Equipment and Suppliers (NAFES) from Australia and New Zealand have agreed to work jointly on initiatives around sustainability, BIM, the skills shortage and more.
The trio of associations, supported by the FCSI EAME, met recently for the first time at the Global Foodservice Equipment Summit in Milan.
Heads of the groups, along with member companies, discussed the need for international solutions to challenges that face the 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. A working party is being set up to ensure that industry definitions are understood – so that the same question is being asked in different areas.
Additionally, 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, according to CESA, the UK association that is part of EFCEM.