Today officially marks the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association’s (CESA) last day as CESA.
From Sunday 1 March, the organisation – which represents more than 200 kitchen equipment suppliers in the UK – will become known as the Foodservice Equipment Association.
The change was first revealed back in November at the annual CESA Conference in London, with current chair John Whitehouse explaining that members had “agreed overwhelmingly” for the overhaul.
Mr Whitehouse reaffirmed this week that the change was not made in a hurry, with extensive membership research and a long period of consultation taking place.
“The research highlighted the need for change,” he explained. “The market has moved on hugely in recent years and we needed to acknowledge that change. Members told us we needed a name that encompasses the breadth of products and services that they offer.
“Foodservice is a broader term than catering and the new name more accurately reflects this. In fact, our membership has broadened so that now we represent not only equipment manufacturers but also importers, distributors and service providers.
“This breadth of membership is also represented in our new structure, with product group forums covering 11 specific product areas, such as refrigeration, service, warewashing and so on.”
Mr Whitehouse said that the restructured organisation would be able to help both members and foodservice operators.
“As the leading source of information on foodservice equipment we can give advice to help them operate and plan their business. The information is independent and authoritative and may cover technical issues, topical advice, product sourcing, insight into policy and legislation.”
The FEA will continue the association’s work with government and legislators, representing members’ interests in areas as diverse as Brexit and climate change.
“There’s also a strongly strategic side to our activities,” he continued. “We’re tasked with looking at the bigger picture – hence our work on the circular economy, connectivity and so on. This work is often at an international level – for example, the FEA chairs the international working party that is establishing a common, global standard for connectivity.”