The power of information…

Steve Hobbs, chair

Steve Hobbs, the new chair of the FEA, outlines why training and education are so vital to successful businesses – and reveals the steps the association is taking to bring energy efficient kitchens to the fore…

Information is power. It fuels decisions. That’s why training and education are so vital to successful businesses. It’s why FEA, the Foodservice Equipment Association, sponsors the Training and Education Award.

It’s also why FEA is so committed to delivering information to its members and to the wider foodservice industry.

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Sustainability is one area where information is constantly changing.  In 2021 we’ll be establishing a Net Zero Carbon Hub on the FEA website.

We’ll also be running a Net Zero Carbon Forum – an online event where manufacturers, dealers and operators can get informed about, and discuss, the latest advances in areas as diverse as energy saving and waste management.

We have until 2050 to make commercial kitchens carbon neutral. It’s a Herculean undertaking, given that kitchens are the most energy hungry rooms in any commercial building. What needs to happen next?

And what needs to happen after that?  The Forum will be the opportunity to find out, and to start the next phase of planning.

In 2021 we’re underlining our commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 by partnering with the ‘Trees for Cities’ charity.  FEA members signing up will be donating money to plant trees that will offset their carbon footprint and help grow a greener future.

One technology that we believe will have a huge impact on evolving the carbon zero kitchen is connectivity, because, for example, it can keep equipment working at optimum efficiency.

FEA has been at the forefront of developments, chairing the international working party that’s establishing a common standard, so that all connected appliances can use the same platform – hence, kitchen managers will be able to monitor and update equipment via one portal or app.

FEA plans an online event where attendees will get up-to-the-minute information on connectivity: the benefits, the latest advances and the vast potential.

FEA is planning further virtual events where operators can meet suppliers to get information on the latest advances and advice in areas such as FOG (Fats Oil and Grease) and reducing food waste.

The assimilation and exploitation of digital technology has exploded during 2020, as businesses use meet the challenges created by the pandemic.

Alongside the series of virtual events, FEA is developing online methods of delivering its training initiatives, such as CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional).

Just last year, CFSP was recognised by the Continuing Professional Development Certification Service and is now officially CPD certified.

The award confirms that CFSP complies with global CPD principles and underlines its position as a leading professional development course for the foodservice sector.

In November 2020, CFSP achieved another milestone in becoming accredited by Highfield Qualifications, a market leader in regulated, work-based learning qualifications.

The rigorous accreditation process took over eight months but is well worth it as Highfield will enhance FEA’s ability to deliver CFSP online.

CFSP isn’t FEA’s only education initiative that’s exploiting the potential of online learning. We’re in the process of developing a complete package of virtual CPD for catering equipment service engineers that will be accessible via laptops and tablets.

Full details will be announced early in 2021.

For more information on FEA visit

Tags : FEJ AwardsKitchen & Equipment Awards Week
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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