CEDA marks 40th anniversary with annual conference and awards

08 May 2012 by
CEDA marks 40th anniversary with annual conference and awards

CEDA marks 40th anniversary with annual conference and awards

The Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA) celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual conference last Thursday and Friday.

The conference, introduced by CEDA chairman Iain Munro, set out to discuss "the tides of change" in the industry today. The theme was strengthened by some heavyweight speakers, including Dr Graeme Codrington of www.tomorrowtoday.uk.com, an expert on the new world of work and multi-generational workplaces; Michael Pawlyn, director of Exploration Architecture, www.exploration-architecture.com; and Suzannah Nichol MBE, chief executive of the National Specialist Contractors' Council (NSCC).

All speakers seemed cautiously optimistic for the industry - except perhaps Andy Jones, service development director at ISS, who warned that the NHS was in recession and that businesses needed to take a 360-degree approach and install systemised equipment packages working together with suppliers and clients. Jones added: "We need complete kitchen systems, not pieces of equipment - the sticky tape approach just doesn't work."

Tim Hammond, chief executive of Elior, said that the customer would become king and that "bespoke specialist suppliers would benefit from this trend".

Nichol spoke of the need for distributors to "say no to retentions" in a powerful presentation highlighting the hidden debt accrued through contractors imposing pre-work retention payments.

Codrington and Pawlyn offered two alternative perspectives examining the impact of technology, institutional change, demographics, environment and biomimicry and their effect on manufacturing, businesses and society.

Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, and sponsored by Caterer and Hotelkeeper, the business day also included a presentation from Brian O'Hagan, managing director of Eco-monitor and a finale from Steve Head, a motivational speaker.

Proceedings were bought to a close in the evening with the presentation of the CEDA Grand Prix Awards, including presentations to: Falcon Foodservice Equipment as winner of the Supplier Award - Heavy Equipment; Mechline Developments as winner of the Supplier Award - Light Equipment, Accessories and Spares; and Foster Refrigerator as winner of the Supplier Award - Outstanding Customer Service.

A full list of awards can be found on the CEDA website.

By Lisa Jenkins

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