Five leading airline catering providers have launched the Airline Catering Association as a non-profit international organisation, based in Brussels, Belgium.
Do & Co, dnata, gategroup, the LSG Group, and Newre are all involved in the new body.
The ACA will represent and promote the common interests of the airline catering industry in matters related to, among others, food, health and safety issues, environmental concerns and taxation affairs.
Additionally, it will monitor and support relevant regulatory initiatives at the global, European and national levels.
The association is open to all companies with sizeable international activities in the airline catering business.
The association’s strategy, as well as the issues to be addressed by the ACA, will be determined by a strategic committee in which each member company will be represented by its chief executive or another member of their board.
Currently, it consists of Robin Padgett, chief executive of dnata; Attila Dogudan, chief executive of Do & Co; Xavier Rossinyol, chief executive of gategroup; Erdmann Rauer, chief executive of the LSG Group; and Olivier Sadran, co-president of Newrest.
“The ideas brought up and discussions that took place during our first Strategic Committee Meeting clearly underlined the need for and the purpose of the ACA,” said Rauer, who is also president of the ACA strategic committee.
“Initially, we will focus our efforts on dealing with the regulatory challenges in Europe that presently require particular attention.
“Mid-term, however, we are targeting a global reach of our activities and initiatives in order to leverage the combined know-how of our industry in order to foster the quality, safety and reliability of our services and products for our airline customers and the passengers.”
The management of the secretariat will be entrusted to Fabio Gamba, a seasoned manager with experience in trade bodies and in the air transport industry, starting in his new role at the beginning of March.
Gamba said: “I am very excited about the opportunity to shape this brand new Association as its first managing director.
“The airline caterers bring a wealth of experience and know-how in handling a central and complex part of the commercial aviation business.
“I see great benefits for all stakeholders in bringing this know-how together to improve regulations and standards in the industry.”