Viscount Younger praises CESA's 75 years of success

UK industry body CESA toasts its 75th anniversary in style at the House of Lords with a celebratory dinner. Michael Jones reports

CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, whose membership represents over 160 of the industry’s best known companies, celebrated its 75th anniversary recently with a dinner at the House of Lords in London.

The event, hosted by CESA’s chairman Nick Oryino, managing director of Carford Group Ltd, was a celebration of the rich history behind CESA as well as a look forward to a positive future for a sector in the UK that has experienced its seventh successive year of export growth.

CESA members represent a sector that contributes over £95bn to the UK economy, employing 3.3 million people in the UK, dwarfing the employment numbers of either the pharmaceutical or aerospace industries. Representing the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, CESA members range from small independent firms to major, global players – companies whose common aim is to serve the hospitality industry in the most dynamic and responsible way, from equipment and ancillary services; utensils and tableware suppliers; and includes suppliers to all the main foodservice and hospitality sectors.

CESA remains committed to voicing the concerns and challenges of UK SME members while one of its key roles and objectives is to promote active co-operation with other like-minded trade associations in the UK and worldwide, such as FCSI.

The keynote speaker for the dinner, Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, applauded all of the “great work” that CESA members do for the sector.

“I really do recognise the important role that you play in the economy,” he said. “I further recognise that there is a broader importance to your work. As I see it there is a strong link, with all this attending opportunity towards better sourcing, preparation and presentation, to the health, happiness and wellbeing of the nation.”

The safeguarding of intellectual property was a key theme for Viscount Younger. “We need to think seriously about the intellectual property of businesses. I see a role for organisations like CESA to encourage their members to do just this.”

Innovation is, he said, “the lifeblood of our economy,” and he was keen to stress how important a concern it should be to professionals in the foodservice sector. “In my travels I have had the opportunity to hear about fantastic new ideas all the time,” he said. “It’s extremely important that intellectual property is understood and that ideas and creations are protected. It’s my job [in the UK] to lead and encourage this educative process.”

Viscount Younger’s IPO department has been targeted with contacting well over 25,000 businesses during this financial year, “to help understand the value of their IP, “ said, adding, “I’m delighted to say that we’re on track with 13,000 businesses contacted already.” By the end of October his department will launch “several new and improved tools so that we can better understand and derive value from IP.”

This includes a refreshed online version of the IPO’s IP Masterclass course, a quarter of which will be dedicated to providing an in-depth understanding of IP, including commercialisation and how IP can be used in a business environment. Viscount Younger encouraged CESA members to also take a look at the department’s IP healthcheck tool, designed to provide advice on patents, trademarks, designs and copyright.

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Michael Jones

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