Steve Hobbs has been announced as the new chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) and has set an ambitious agenda as the association looks to meet the twin challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.
Hobbs, who is also the director of Grande Cuisine, has spent the last two years as vice chair and takes over the role from John Whitehouse, managing director of First Choice Group.
Hobbs is keen to strengthen the FEA's sustainability influence as well as developing the organisation's digital presence: "FEA has pushed the sustainability programme for many years, but I want to see us become even greener. I'm looking to promote more initiatives like Trees for Cities with our members.
"We are in the process of planning a series of virtual events that will offer a forum where operators can meet suppliers to find out about the latest advances and advice in areas such as FOG (Fats Oil and Grease) and connectivity. "
"FEA has done important work over the past few months in helping both members and the foodservice industry as a whole deal with the ramifications of the pandemic. We need to push on with that work to help our sector survive and recover in the coming months. On Brexit, we have to keep up the pressure on government in areas such as staying aligned to EU standards."
The FEA's role in training and education will remain a focus, with the continuing development and expansion of the CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) programme and the Principles of Foodservice Scheme, designed for newcomers to foodservice. Both of these training programmes will switch emphasis to develop their online presence.
Simon Lohse, managing director of Rational UK, takes over Steve Hobbs' previous role as vice chair.