European manufacturers debate barriers to trade

Europe’s largest catering equipment trade bodies yesterday staged their first ever European Catering Equipment Conference at London’s Marriott County Hall hotel.

The one-day ‘Europe without Barriers’ event was hosted by the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM), which the previous day held its AGM in London.

EFCEM comprises around a dozen of Europe’s catering equipment trade associations, including CESA from the UK.

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Around 40 delegates, mainly comprising of representatives from manufacturers, attended a day of presentations chaired by GHC Marketing’s Graham Henson.

The aim of the conference was to give foodservice industry professionals an insight into international trade agreements, European energy efficiency legislation and the latest UK government view on equipment sustainability issues.

Speakers included Mike Walker from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Martin Barrow from the Carbon Trust and Jan Moreno-Acedo, policy officer for the European Commission, who covered energy efficiency requirements and labelling.

Other speakers included Ian Ascough from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, who updated delegates on the latest progress — or not — of global trade relationships, and Steve Loughton, who highlighted the growth of the CFSP programme.

The event also featured an enlightening presentation from Nick Bannister, chief executive of China Manufacturing Solutions, a UK-founded Chinese catering equipment manufacturing venture originally set up to build a specific line of TurboChef equipment and which has expanded to 500 staff in the space of just a few years.

EFCEM’s members represent more than 550 catering and light equipment manufacturers with a collective turnover of €3.6bn (£2.4bn).

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