A conversation with ACA's Erdmann Rauer
Following the announcement of the formation of the Airline Catering Association earlier this February, PAX International had the opportunity to discuss the association's bright future with LSG Groups' Erdmann Rauer, president of the association's Strategic Committee. Here's what he had to say about the idea behind the ACA and where the founding members hope to take it.
When was the idea for the ACA first planted? How long has it taken to get to this stage?
The idea of an Airline Catering Association has been on my mind for quite some time. The launch of the WTCE back in 2012 as the number-one airline catering global exhibition was initiated and supported by us.This was the first step in this direction. It has proven to be very successful in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers, which underlines our thinking that our industry needs a common platform.
Why do you believe that an association of this nature was needed?
Airline catering is an industry that does not really fit into larger industry sectors such as food production or logistics, and it has inter-dependencies with various very different industries.
Airline catering is complex and sensitive – transporting sensitive products a million times every day around the globe, crossing borders and, as such, legislation and regulatory frameworks. Today, we perceive the regulatory frameworks as being inconsistent and not taking into consideration the complexities of airline catering. Therefore, key players have joined forces to get a “bigger voice” in order to work together for a consistent and efficient regulatory environment for the benefit all involved stakeholders, primarily our customers.
How frequently will the Strategic Committee meet?
The Strategic Committee meets at least once a year. The first official meeting of the Committee will take place on April 8, 2018, the day before the WTCE in Hamburg.
Will the ACA be hosting any industry events?
The primary focus will not be on industry events, but on addressing common issues. Once we have succeeded in doing so, I can well imagine that we will take this into consideration.
Will the ACA have a presence at any trade shows? Will having committee members speak on behalf of the organizations at such industry events be something the founding members would consider doing?
All current ACA members are and will continue to exhibit individually at trade shows, as those are primarily platforms to meet with customers. We can certainly imagine that the ACA will also have a voice at industry events, most likely through our future Managing Director Fabio Gamba.
Will the ACA have full-time employees in addition to their committees?
Fabio Gamba has been entrusted with the management of the ACA Secretariat. In his role as Managing Director of ACA he will shape the association and build on his experience in trade bodies and the air transport industry.
Are you accepting applications for membership at this moment in time? How do companies go about doing so?
Yes, we are. Applications should be sent to Fabio Gamba in his position as MD of ACA as of early March.They will then undergo a structured process for verification that all conditions for membership are fulfilled.
For Effective Members, this would mean that they should have consolidated global revenues greater than 500 mio EUR in airline catering in the year preceding the application with a significant presence within the EEA and Switzerland, consolidated revenues greater than 200 mio EUR within the EEA and Switzerland.
For Associated Members (no voting rights), they should have consolidated global revenues greater than 500 mio EUR in airline catering in the year preceding the application with no significant presence within the EEA and Switzerland, or consolidated revenues less than 200 mio EUR within the EEA and Switzerland.
If people want more information on the ACA, where should they turn?
Ahead of the ACA's website launch], they can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fabio Gamba will share his contacts with the industry once he has assumed his position.