This past week in Milan, Italy I had the privilege of helping to organize and facilitate the first ever Global Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Summit. Fourteen food service industry trade bodies, representing 33 countries took part at this one-day summit that was held at Casa degli Atellani – Leonardo da Vinci’s home & private vineyard where he lived while painting the “Last Super” at the church across the street – in Milan. The house’s magnificent library was an excellent venue to house 28 industry leaders who all came to the summit willing and able to collaborate, and cooperate, on a host of industry issues that are global in nature.
After a lot of open and frank discussion, by the end of the day, the group agreed to work on several key initiatives. In no particular order, they are:
- The global gathering of sales statistics for industry equipment & supplies. Very few countries currently collect equipment & supplies sales data.
- Develop and implement a process to collect global trends and other relevant macro data within the industry.
- Develop industry standards around three major topic areas – food and worker safety; environmental and sustainability issues; and the connectivity of food service equipment.
- Develop a Position Paper (s) that will be used to demonstrate to various governments the groups global position and perspective on various issues, with the initial one being focused on the “Circular Economy Package.” (For additional information on this subject go to the “Articles” section of my web page.)
- The development of global standards for B.I.M. (Building Information Management) so that all design consultants can work seamlessly with each other on projects.
- Share current industry training and education programs and develop new, or modify existing programs in an effort to increase the knowledge base and professionalism of all those working within the industry.
- The development of a web site that will be used as a central repository for all of the aforementioned information that will be gathered and produced.
In summary, it was a great ”kick-off” meeting. Decisions were made; responsibilities handed out; and objectives developed. The next Global Summit is tentatively scheduled around the Hotelympia trade show in London during the month of February 2016. All those who participated in Milan’s inaugural Summit are looking forward to advancing the efforts that were put in place during the day on October 22, 2015. A new era of global cooperation and information sharing has begun.