February 19 2021  |  Catering

Video Clip: Associations see early industry adoption of COVID-19 ACA/IFSA Guideline

By Rick Lundstrom

Fabio Gamba (bottom left), Managing Director at the ACA and the Airport Services Association and Lauren Costello (bottom right), Executive Director of IFSA speak with with PAX International Editor-In-Chief Rick Lundstrom (top left) and Editor Jane Hobson (top right) about the rollout of the COVID-19 ACA/IFSA Guideline and its acceptance by the industry

Barely a week after its launch, a 34-page downloadable compendium of COVID-19 best practices and guidelines for airline caterers around the world had its first early adopters.

Last week, dnata announced that it has adopted the COVID-19 ACA/IFSA Guideline published in January with combined efforts of the Airline Catering Association (ACA) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA).

“The combined ACA/IFSA Guideline provides another layer of guidance, providing an industry-wide reference point to complement the strict COVID-19 processes implemented by us on a global and local level,” said Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President at Dubai-based dnata. “Importantly, passengers can remain confident that our products and services are provided with the utmost attention to health and safety.”

On February 15, Newrest announced that it, too would adopt the Guideline. “At a time when the aviation industry is experiencing the toughest crisis of its history, global inflight actors proceeded as one voice on health and food safety matters,” said a release from the France-based company.

Building passenger confidence, protecting workers and giving the industry a cohesive template for operations in any part of the world were some of the goals of the two associations, which tapped expertise from more than a dozen representatives from caterers and other companies. The meticulously detailed guidelines stress what is called the “Pandemic Response 4P’s”, representing 1) People, 2) Premises, 3) Policies, Processes & Procedures, 4) Procurement.

Last week, shortly after the dnata announcement, Lauren Costello, Executive Director of IFSA and Fabio Gamba, Managing Director at the ACA and the Airport Services Association (ASA) spoke with PAX International on the rollout of the Guideline and its acceptance by the industry.

The feedback thus far has been one welcome bright spot in a difficult year, says Costello.

“I think the response has been very positive from the board and the members and really is a testament to the incredible combined efforts of both the associations. It was developed by a working group and they’re all volunteers joined by IFSA regulatory affairs manager,” she says.

Industry players collaborated on the ACA/IFSA Guideline, some of whom gave an update at FTE APEX Virtual Expo in December. Clockwise from left top, Ulrike Enneking, Sandra Pineau-Boddison, Stephen Kingsley, Vanessa Lindstrom and Adam Simmonson

While the Guideline was originally designed for airline catering, Gamba tells PAX International that caterers have told him that they be useful beyond the catering kitchen as many have diversified their business offerings.

“They said actually it is a great document because we can use it across the board not only for inflight catering, but also for events catering or catering for trains,” Gamba says.

People from around the industry worked together to prepare the ACA/IFSA Guideline, some of whom gave an update on the document at FTE APEX Virtual Expo in December. Listed in the Acknowledgements is:

Roberta Swenson Moore retired from Delta Air Lines
Manjit Sohal and Adam Simmonson from dnata
Maryam Azarnia from Flying Food Group
Dave Walks, Norbert van den Berg and Richard Davis from gategroup
Ulrike Enneking, Rosimeire Miranda, and Jian Shi of LSG Group
Fabien Malbranque of Newrest, Lori Tansey from Quality & Regulatory Innovations, LLC
Lianey Yeap from SATS
Spring Savage of WestJet

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