History of the FEA

The Foodservice Equipment Association, is the largest and most influential membership association for the foodservice equipment industry.

Established over 80 years ago, we represent more than 200 members; a community that encompasses manufacturers, importers, distributors, resellers and service companies.

As the FEA, we exist for the benefit of our members:

  • Promoting their interests and welfare;
  • Encouraging effective collaboration between all suppliers engaged in the supply of foodservice equipment (foodservice needs to appear as one word);
  • Providing sustained representation to relevant government departments and regulatory authorities;
  • And ensuring that all individuals within the industry are supported through education and career development programmes.













FEA Timeline

1938 CEMA was founded 
Twelve leading UK companies came together in 1938 to form the Catering Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA). They all recognised the need for the fledgling catering equipment manufacturing industry to have strength, support and influence and to speak with a single voice to policy makers and opinion formers. The economy was starting to recover from the impact of the Great Depression.

While there were areas of great poverty across the country, a new middle class of consumer was emerging. There was a boom in house building, the motor manufacturing industry was expanding, and the availability of clean, cheap power in the form of electricity created demand for electric cookers, washing machines, radios and other devices.

1939-1945 The advent of WW2
The outbreak of war inevitably had a huge impact on the catering equipment industry, as it did on every aspect of life. In 1939 Britain imported 20 million tons of food a year. As supply lines dried up, the Ministry of Food introduced rationing, and there was a huge emphasis put on efficient farming and food production.

1969 EFCEM founded
Taking a lead in the changing market landscape, in 1969, CEMA was a key force in the foundation of the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM). This comprised the national associations of several European countries. •

1974 The inception of CEIA.
With CEMA membership limited to British manufacturers, importers formed their own trade body, the Catering Equipment Importers Association (CEIA). In turn opening the UK market to overseas players, and bringing new companies into the fray.

1985 CE Marking Started
The CE certification mark introduced conformity for health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).

1996 Hotelympia sponsorship agreement
An agreement that actively encourages members to support and exhibit.

2002 CESA/CUA merger
(Catering Utensils Association)

2002 First conference with the FCSI
Endeavouring to provide a collaborative approach for members and the industry – building relationships.

2003 First CESA Code of Practice
The code covers the range of support concerning the manufacture supply, installation and after sales service that buyers can expect from members of the association.

2004 First Catering Utensils Group Forum
This was the forerunner to LET Forum (Light Equipment and Tableware Forum)

CESA moved from METCOM to membership of BEAMA, the British Electromechanical and Allied Manufacturers Association

June 2008
CESA changed its status from that of an unincorporated trade association to become CESA Limited.

16th June 2008 CESA Limited

2011 CESA launches CFSP

2016 Strategy and Structure Development
This provided the foundation stone to where we are today, involved the expansion of the Council to sixteen members and defined the vision of the Association moving forward.

November 2017: The team expands from two to four staff.
Keith and Jocelyn became Keith, Jocelyn, Adam and Sarah-Jane Campbell (briefly Saffron).

December 2017: CESA move to Rotherwick House
A move from Westminster Tower on the banks of The Thames to a new modern office space in St. Katherine Docks brought about much needed change benefiting the team and members alike. Moved offices from Westminster Tower on the banks of the Thames to Rotherwick House in St. Katharine Docks. What was the old dock police house – now a modern bright office space with a number of rooms for meetings and member engagement.

2018 CFSP surpasses 500 delegates

October 2019 – First Service Providers CPD forum
Giving delegates key information and insight on day-to-day issues through one-to-one sessions with experts from relevant manufacturers and suppliers

2019 - CESA becomes the FEA
We listened to the members; results of the 2018 member research. Futureproofing the Association and broadening our appeal to solidify our position as a leading foodservice trade association.