FEA has given its Outstanding Service to the Foodservice Equipment Industry Award 2021 to the UKHospitality trade body as a whole.
This is the first time that the association has presented the award to a team rather than an individual.
The trophy was handed over during last night’s awards dinner, which concluded FEA’s annual conference, held at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwickshire.
FEA chair Steve Hobbs told guests: “This award for the first time goes to an organisation and all its staff for the tireless work they have done to act as one voice for the complete and diverse business sector we are all in.
“UKHospitality delivers support for industry operators, and has in itself underpinned our ability to trade as a supply chain through the last 18 months of challenge and uncertainty. The team has led at the highest levels of government at the same time as delivering what the independent pub, restaurant or nightclub needs in the face of such a challenge as Covid.”
Hobbs detailed the formation of the trade body dates back to 1885, with the official founding of what was then called the Incorporated Hotel-Keepers Association following in 1907. Of the 36 founding members, five of these are still part of what is now UKHospitality.
Today the foodservice operator association represents over 730 companies operating around 85,000 venues in a sector that employed 3.2m people prior to Covid.
UKHospitality strategic affairs director Tony Sophoclides collected the award, saying: “Thank you so much for the recognition for the team. There is no doubt that Kate Nicholls [UKHospitality’s CEO] has been an incredible shining star for the hospitality sector. She just doesn’t give up and she has been an inspiration for the team, as well as further afield.
“Genuinely, awards like this are very much appreciated and it really does lift the team. We are only a team of 16, which I think is quite often overlooked. However, Covid has been a tragedy, an absolute horror for the world, and people have suffered in so many different ways. If I am going to try and take any positive from it, I think it has helped hospitality and catering teams and our affiliates and other trade associations to all pull together. The FEA has certainly been a great example of that. I’m sure that we will keep that collaboration going. I think it has given us an opportunity to win the ear of government, and I think it’s great that now hospitality has taken its seat at the table where it ought to be, among other big sectors. Awards like this are an incentive for us to carry on working.”
Earlier in the evening, the FCSI Sustainable Equipment Award was won by Meiko’s BioMaster food waste disposal system. FCSI UK and Ireland chair, Julian Edwards, presented the trophy to Meiko’s specification director, Mick Jary.
Winterhalter’s CTR Energy conveyor warewasher was rated as highly commended in the category, with UK MD Stephen Kinkead taking to the stage to pick up the certificate.