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Catering suppliers say sustainability will boost business in the next three years, finds survey

19th Dec 2012 - 09:53
Catering suppliers believe that sustainability will deliver a major boost to business in the next three years, according to research conducted by CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.

Some 33% of respondents said the drive for more environmentally sustainable practices will create new product and service opportunities, while 39% said it would encourage innovation. A massive 81% agreed that sustainability will be a key to growing their business.

Over half of respondents think that ‘product and service innovators’ are the key skill sets that the industry needs to recruit to ensure a sustainable future, and that work needs to done on developing programmes and apprentice schemes to ensure a ‘strong talent pipeline.’

There’s also a difference of opinions when it comes to the best way to promote sustainability and sell ‘green’ equipment and supplies to foodservice operators. 23% want standardised energy efficiency tests, so that buyers can compare like for like. 22% think that tax incentives to end purchasers is the best encouragement, while another 22% think that better understanding of the issue amongst customers is the way forward. At 14% the next most popular solution was legislation on performance.

When asked what practical step could be taken to improve understanding of sustainability issues, over half agreed that independently established standards, with the verifications of costs, savings and benefits, was the way forward.

Nick Oryino, chair of CESA, said: “This research gives a snapshot of attitudes and it is very pleasing that, overall, the view towards sustainability is so positive.

“However, there are divisions. For example, asked what impact sustainability will have on their business, 7% of delegates said it will reduce their profits and 10% said it will increase theirs. Meanwhile the majority said it will improve their competitive positioning.”  

The research was conducted on 16thNovember 2012 at the CESA Conference, in association with the FCSI and BHA. Over 230 delegates, made up of equipment suppliers, distributors, consultants and foodservice operators, took part in a series of electronic surveys throughout the day.

Written by
PSC Team