West Sussex-based catering design consultancy, Radford Chancellor Ltd, has left the consultants’ association, the FCSI.
MD Radford Chancellor told Catering Insight: “I have been a huge supporter of the FCSI, helping with events, getting and retaining new allied members. I have given my time to try to attend as many meetings as I can so that the allied members get value for money. But I no longer feel the FCSI offers consultants value for money and question whether allied members also get value for money. The meetings are not overly relevant any longer, heavily attended by allied members but poorly attended by professional members.
“The professional membership is hugely depleted since the fall out of a few years ago. The executive board is poorly represented by consultants in the design sector. The FCSI UK no longer adds value to our business – in the past we used to get business from the FCSI and opportunities to bid for consultancy tenders.”
He underlined: “Next year Radford Chancellor Ltd will celebrate its 10th year in business. We believe our brand is strong enough to stand on its own without the need for any membership of a society.
“By leaving the FCSI, we will be totally free to change our business to suit our clients’ needs whilst still being committed to professional standards and delivering quality solutions for our clients.
“We have offices in West Sussex and Liverpool with plans underway to open another in Edinburgh as we are seeing an increase in business in that region. This year Radford Chancellor will grow 40%, whilst many other consultancies are in decline.”
In response, FCSI UK and Ireland chair Julian Edwards commented: “We were disappointed to receive the resignation from Radford Chancellor Ltd, particularly as they have had a long-standing involvement with the FCSI UK and Ireland.
“In the last few years, we have worked hard to re-establish the FCSI UK and Ireland and our membership is growing.
“With regard to the specific points raised by Radford Chancellor Ltd, a few years ago we took the decision to appoint just three board positions – a chair, vice chair and treasurer, to replace board meetings with professional member meetings and to extend an open invitation to every professional member of the FCSI UK and Ireland to attend these meetings.
“This decision was taken to give all members the opportunity to get involved with the organisation at board level and to ensure their views are represented and considered fully without them needing to commit the large amounts of time required to fulfil a board position. Any professional member who feels their views are under-represented is very welcome to attend any professional member meeting and receives invitations to do so.”
Edwards further added: “With regard to member benefits and value for money, we offer the same core benefits that we have always done and have in fact expanded our events programme last year with the addition of educational days which are proving extremely popular with our consultant members.
“We are committed to reviewing and improving the range of services and activities we provide for members on an ongoing basis and to supporting the foodservice sector in the UK and Ireland.”