New-look representative body for foodservice sector

The Irish foodservice sector has joined forces to create a new industry body - The Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA) - formed with the aim of establishing and maintaining a collective agreement of standards and objectives for the overall foodservice suppliers industry in Ireland.

Previously the Catering Equipment Association (CEA), IFSA was officially launched in Dublin recently. Its objectives are to promote, develop and enhance the position of all foodservice suppliers in the industry and as a group collectively drive the whole industry forward.

Prior to the launch, the CEA undertook a year-long strategic review and identified a clear opportunity for all suppliers to the foodservice industry to join together to represent themselves to the foodservice providers and proactively engage with the industry through forums, events and online trade and promotion. The result has seen the launch of the IFSA which hopes to deliver enterprise, trade, training, development and networking to the whole industry.

Although the Irish Foodservice sector has suffered particular pressure over the last few years due to a decrease in consumer spend, legacy rents and rates and spiralling utility costs on top of labour market restraints and downward price pressure, foodservice remains a €6 billion market in Ireland (equating to €1.8 billion at operator purchase prices). Many businesses have not only survived the recession but emerged with a new passion to succeed, a focus on customer satisfaction and commitment to providing an enhanced quality of service and value. These companies are now best placed to deliver long-term success, bring Ireland to a solid platform of growth and quality in our foodservice and hospitality industry and the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance has been set up to represent them.

Said IFSA Chairperson Julie Morrissey, “My vision for IFSA is very simply that same vision held collectively by the IFSA board and that is to be the representative body of choice for foodservice suppliers which will demonstrate excellence in representation of our members while being the central hub for networking, communications and sales events within the industry”.

She continued, “I firmly believe that the future of foodservice in Ireland is very bright. Ireland is being recognised as a place to do smart business on the global economic stage. I believe we will continue to see the expansion of this smarter economy and with it the expansion of the corporate catering sector. After a difficult few years we are left with some really fantastic hotels, pubs and restaurants; these will be the foodservice establishments that are leaner and keener and better than ever before, these are the businesses that will continue to boost Ireland’s reputation as a great place in which to travel, live and do business”.
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