Time, she flies fast

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It only seems like 5 minutes ago that I joined Catering Insight, and already I am approaching my first year at the helm.

I can honestly say I have learned an absolute truckload about the catering equipment sector this year, and hopefully a few of you recognise my face now when I pop up at various industry events.

One of the biggest exhibitions on the calendar is of course Host, which took place in Milan at the end of October. It was almost overwhelming for the Catering Insight team to go round more than 14 massive halls – and it was an impossible feat to catch up with everybody that we wanted to.

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However, it was great to be invited along to a press briefing detailing what happened at the first ever Global Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Leadership Summit, which was held on the eve of Host at the spectacular former residence of Leonardo da Vinci (it was apparently the house he lived in when he was painting The Last Supper).

With 14 trade bodies for the catering equipment industry agreeing to collaborate and share best practices going forwards, this is a major step forwards and only good things can come out of this co-operation.

Another arena in which time has flown by is for the Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into possible minimum advertised pricing (MAP) arrangements for commercial catering equipment.

I feel like a stuck record reporting on the various deadline postponements for this case, and since June there hasn’t even been a timeframe stated. For a probe that was supposed that was supposed to take a few months and finish at the beginning of the year, I think we can safely say it has taken longer than anticipated.

Finally, however, at the beginning of November, the CMA reported that a further update should be available by the end of January. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the investigation to be resolved by then either, but at least there is now a schedule to aim for. Maybe next year will see the industry put out of its misery and the CMA’s position on MAPs clarified.

Before I close this column, I would like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy festive season.

Some of you will be celebrating Catering Insight Award wins and you can party in the knowledge that the majority of over 100 senior executives from either distributors or suppliers decided that you were worthy of the accolade. This can truly be said to be the honours for the industry chosen by the industry.

Congratulations to the victors, commiserations to the runners-up, and go have a relaxing holiday before returning to the coal face to see what 2016 holds for us.

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