LACA was established in 1990 and is the leading professional body representing 550 catering managers in local authorities, private contractors and individual schools and academies. Its members are providers of school meals services within the primary and secondary schools of England, Wales and Scotland (the Northern Ireland region is currently dormant).
Since its inception, LACA has set out to inform, develop, represent and support its members through a range of initiatives and services. The membership is diverse, and includes public and private sector providers, client officers, dietitians and individual schools. There are also 250 associate members who are jointly responsible for the supply of over £400m per annum of food, drink, equipment and services to the school catering sector.
LACA has continued to lobby Government and has proudly achieved the status of the organisation the Government consults with in developing policies for school food.
With over 300 local authorities, county, district councils and London Boroughs represented in the membership, 80% of the catering service is provided by LACA members. And with around three million lunches being served every day in 27,000 schools, the LACA network is the country’s largest provider of school catering.
The organisation is a professional body, with members responsible for more than 110,000 staff employed in approximately 27,000 primary, special and secondary schools that provides services to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. It draws on the strengths of its membership nationally, largely managed through members on a voluntary basis.
There is a continuing need for all involved to work together to meet the mandatory food standards that apply to the school catering service, and thus make a major contribution to the health of future generations, and to ensure the security of the service and staff employed by attracting as many customers as possible.
LACA is made up of 11 active regions and seven working committees. It supports its membership by: involving members in a nationwide network; creating networking opportunities to facilitate the exchange of views and information; holding briefings, regional meetings and an annual conference that help to further the education and development of catering managers; operating a vibrant website (www.laca.co.uk), which includes a dedicated members-only section; and publishing an annual yearbook as an important reference source.