FEA appoints new chair

Steve Hobbs is the new chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) and has set an ambitious agenda as the Association looks to meet the twin challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit. Hobbs, who is director of Grande Cuisine, has spent the last two years as vice chair and takes over the role from John Whitehouse, managing director of First Choice Group. 

“FEA has done important work over the past few months in helping both members and the foodservice industry as a whole deal with the ramifications of the pandemic,” said Hobbs. “We need to push on with that work to help our sector survive and recover in the coming months. On Brexit, we have to keep up the pressure on government in areas such as staying aligned to EU standards.”

However, Hobbs is keen to develop and strengthen FEA’s influence and involvement in other areas, too. “FEA has pushed the sustainability programme for many years, but I want to see us become even greener,” he added. “I’m looking to promote more initiatives like Trees for Cities with our members.” 

Closer to home, Hobbs is advocating the broadening of the base of the FEA council membership. “I’ll be delighted if, under my two years as chair, we achieve a better mix of gender, more BAME presence, and are able to encourage more younger members to step up to the plate,” he concluded. 

Simon Lohse, managing director of Rational UK, takes over Hobbs’ previous role as vice chair.