Magazine Archive

We’re all school kids at heart. The end of my year is not really Yuletide, but July when school’s out, or rather when LACA has its annual conference, or Main Event and the summer holidays begin in earnest. This year’s three-day event was bigger and better than it has been for some time – I thought the speakers thought-provoking and the exhibitors considerably more numerous. It was not only a fitting tribute to mark the organisation’s 30th birthday, but also suggests an energetic industry looking for change and progress in an increasingly fragmented school marketplace.

Incidentally, LACA’s new website is a great addition and I especially like the new and more inclusive tagline ‘the School Food People’ though I think it a shame that it didn’t change its name to the SFA – The School Food Association – a few years back. The LACA name is rightly full of memory, tradition and meaning for those who worked in the industry when its membership was overwhelmingly made up of local authority employees, but this is no longer the case and a name such as the School Food Association would arguably be more inclusive, mean more to outside world and the national media where LACA must raise its profile.

Talking of raising profiles, one keynote speaker at this year’s Main Event was Prue Leith and the British Bake Off judge did not lose her ability to inspire and incite a degree of controversy (page 29). What could be more boring than having a prominent speaker who says nothing with which we can disagree with and on that front Prue did not disappoint. As my colleague Pat Fellows says in her column (page 50), who could disagree with her plain-talking common-sense approach to school food, but should, or could we ever simply ditch 50% of school catering teams, as she suggests? I’m not so sure.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to Laura Evans, who will be taking over as editor of EDUcatering in our September issue of the magazine. Laura comes from a background in healthcare journalism, which should prove handy to us all – watch out for lots more articles on sugar. I look forward to working with her and look forward to introducing her to many of you in coming months.

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