Airline Catering Association addresses first common issue in Europe
“ACA’s goal is to clarify and shed more light on the business of inflight catering, which remains associated, if not confused, with airlines all too often in people’s minds.”
The non-profit Airline Catering Association (ACA) was founded one year ago with seat in Brussels. It is managed by a full-time Managing Director, Fabio Gamba, an experienced industry leader. gategroup is a founding member together with dnata, DO & CO, LSG and Newrest. All founding members are represented on the Board of Directors, which is presently chaired by gategroup. It is ACA’s intention to broaden its membership base to make it even more representative of the global catering industry.
ACA recently addressed its first serious challenge as a common industry voice when the European Commission focused on the topic of banning single-use plastics. The draft bill, which will give rise to a European Directive when adopted in the coming months, plans for the phasing out of plastic plates, cutlery and stirrers by as early as 2021.
ACA welcomed the initiative in principle yet countered that the Directive creates conflicting legal obligations for airlines and inflight caterers and called for more vigilance and for better regulation. ACA pointed out the obligation to incinerate waste after international journeys and explained that the heavier weight of alternatives to single use plastics would lead to airlines emitting more CO2, an unwanted consequence of the ban. Changes in the Directive wording are unlikely at this stage, but ACA’s points were clearly expressed. That will prove invaluable in future legislative considerations.
“ACA’s goal is to clarify and shed more light on the business of inflight catering, which remains associated, if not confused, with airlines all too often in people’s minds,” said Roland Maurhofer, gategroup Chief Legal Officer and Chairman of ACA Board of Directors. “There are a number of issues on the table – including food, security, health and safety issues, environmental concerns and taxation affairs – that ACA intends to address collectively and with one industry voice. I am pleased with the progress thus far, but a lot of further efforts is needed to establish the catering industry with the voice in the regulatory decision making that it deserves considering its importance to the costumer experience and in the value chain of the travel industry.”