Sustainability: is the EU getting it wrong?

editor

CESA is chair of the Technical Committee of EFCEM (the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers). Recently EFCEM met with the EU Commission at a Consultation Forum to discuss the future development of catering equipment, focusing particularly on refrigerated cabinets, blast chillers and walk-in cold rooms.

The Forum looked at a variety of issues, ranging from functionality and food safety to the development of new refrigerants. However, a key issue for manufacturers is, on the one hand the increasing demand for non standard equipment whilst, on the other, the demand from regulators that all models should be tested – and that manufacturers must pay for the testing.

“Manufacturers’ ability to customise models is an essential requirement in the foodservice sector, due to the varying demands of operators and their site requirements,” says Keith Warren, director of CESA. “Some refrigeration companies offer literally hundreds of different variants.

“The latest EU proposals are in the form of an Implementing Measure under the Eco Design Directive. The outcome of the work on commercial refrigeration could place significant development and testing costs on companies, as well as a major administrative burden on technical and testing staff. If they are applied to every model variant, then there is a danger that they will discourage companies from developing the new technologies that are essential if we are to meet sustainability and environmental commitments.

“EFCEM told the Commission that these issues have to be addressed before the final proposals are agreed. We underlined the need to ensure that legislation and regulations encourage rather than discourage manufacturers to develop energy saving equipment.

“The proposals as they stand could dramatically affect the foodservice industry’s ability to cut energy consumption. They are non-sustainable.”

While the Commission’s work is currently focused on refrigeration, later this year similar discussions will start in relation to ovens, hobs and grills which are also subject to an Implementing Measure.

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 160 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment – from utensils to full kitchen schemes.

For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk

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