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The Food Storage & Distribution Federation: Well, it has been a busy and successful Federation year again, especially with Brexit, but as we approach Christmas, and the peak of our business activities, it is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the successes of 2017.

In January, we announced the winner of the second FSDF Future Leader Award. Cavan McKenna from XPO Logistics was the successful candidate and went on to accompany me to the lARW/WFLO Convention in California, USA. Alongside similar winners from the competitions in Australia, South Africa and United States, Cavan delivered a presentation to be proud of to an audience of global players across the world of temperature controlled food logistics.

February sawourannual Business Management Conference held at XPO Logistics Training Centre in Northampton. Presentations from FSDF associate members Chalcroft, Zetes, Luxonic and Carbon Management Services gave delegates insight into their products and services which could help them operate more efficiently while Jacobs examined the latest performance of the FSDF Climate Change Agreement at the end of Target Period 2, four years into the current 10-year timescale. This event also examined the price fixing cartel by truck manufacturers, and Backhouse Jones, transport industrysolicitors, explained how FSDF members could join with other fleet operators to pursue a class action compensation claim. This is ongoing and could enable operators to claim up to [pounds sterling]6000 per vehicle.

As we moved into Spring, the deadline for entries for our Health & Safety Awards loomed large and we were delighted to have a significant pile of submissions to critically examine by the end of March. Multimodal was the next event on the horizon and we spend 3 days at the NEC together with associate members Eurotunnel and Arena Group who were joined by Montracon and Britannia Bureau delivering "Shipper Briefings" within the FSDF Pavilion.

FSDF has been working hard over the last four years in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive and Laboratories to develop new updated guidance on the use and management of ammonia refrigeration equipment and systems. The DSEAB Guide will be completed in 2018, but in the meantime and following on from the serious accident which took place in December last year, FSDF launches a new definitive Guide for the "Safe Management of Ammonia Befrigeration Systems (SMABS)". Since this affects members of both Federations, we went on to hold a major joint event in May with the British Frozen Food Federation to better understand our obligates and discuss best practice.

Both teams are to be commended in delivering a highly successful event which saw 180 delegates across the whole industry convene at Belton Woods to hear from experts in the field, including the HSE and Lincolnshire Fire and Bescue who gave a no holds barred insight into the all too real dangers of an ammonia leak and what the possible consequences could be to the management of a business should this type of event occur on their premises. A very sobering conference with a clear message, which dispelled some previous myths.

With the success of this event, FSDF and BFFF are already planning another joint event around the recently published guide for Working at Height on Mobile Refrigeration, on which the two Federations have been working for some time now. The interim Guide has been blessed by the Health and Safety Executive and is planned for publication with full endorsement in the late Spring/early Summer 2018 and we look forward to delivering another compelling event for all our members at that point.

A couple of weeks later, another reality check hit--the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena two days before the FSDF AGM and Annual Lunch was due to be held at Old Trafford. The increase in the threat level the following day by Teresa May meant that all venues in Manchester were closed and our event rescheduled until later in the year. As a gesture of goodwill, MUFC donated a signed shirt which we auctioned later in the year at the TCS&D Awards and raised [pounds sterling]1100 thanks to the generosity of bidders and the winning bid from Gray & Adams. Proceeds were donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

As the days warmed up, we were hoping for good weather for the FSDF Annual Golf Day. We tend to hold this event at a different quality golf course each year and this year we rolled up at The Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club on a beautiful sunny day with 11 teams competing for the silverware! We are very grateful to our sponsors who support us every year and provide the fabulous prizes, notably UniCarriers, Reed Boardall, Linde, Luxonic and 1 Cold and congratulations to the worthy winners. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2018-watch this space for details.

Throughout the early summer I travelled around the country to understand the key concerns of FSDF members at a regional and national level. Starting in Northern Ireland with a particularly robust discussion around Brexit and their concerns for the border and trade with the Republic of Ireland, it became clear that there was a consistent message from all regions and that was the need for clarity and certainty about border controls and EU citizens currently living and working in the UK. Alongside other UK trade bodies and professional institutes, we have pressed Government to raise these issues with the UK and EU negotiating teams to ensure that they understand the effect of their decisions on the UK food supply chain. These meetings have been the basis of many presentations to Government departments and at industry events to ensure the message from FSDF members is loud and clear.

With Autumn in the air it was time for our industry showcase event. At a new central venue in Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Exhibition drew buyers from across the temperature controlled supply chain. FSDF hosted a well-attended seminar programme where our Brexit concerns were once again raised, and a current update explored. Nick Hay focused on the state of the temperature controlled food logistics industry and provided some visions for the future, and Tim Ward from Transport for London explained what was happening on the urban logistics front in the capital and what that might mean for operators, both in London and major cities in the rest of the UK. FSDF members Chalcroft Construction and Fresh Logistics also delivered highly informative presentations.

This event also incorporated the TCS&D Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony where excellence and innovation were recognised, and trophies awarded to the winners of 20 different categories, including the very well-deserved life time achievement award to Harry Yearsley. My colleagues on the judging panel and I were delighted to see so many high-quality submissions which made our job the more challenging. My thanks go to my fellow judges and congratulations to all our 2017 winners and to our friends, Richard, Rosemary and Martyn Cogan of Sherwin Publications.

In October, we returned to Old Trafford where we enjoyed the hospitality of Manchester United FC. A tour of the ground, drinks reception and gourmet lunch were followed by the presentation of the Future Leader Award to Cavan McKenna and Health & Safety Awards to Marshall Fleet Solutions, Brakes Reading DC and Ian Harvey from Partner Logistics. Gary Pallister regaled the audience with tales of antics on and off the pitch and we raised [pounds sterling]665 for Transaid. A good day all round!

As I write, we are just about to hold our final event of 2017, a seminar exploring the legal requirements and obligations set out in the recently implemented Union Customs Code. Changes to international trading legislation mean that companies who are involved in importing or exporting goods will need to comply with new regulations, and acquire AE0 certification to avoid providing financial deposits and guarantees.

Looking ahead to 2018, many of you will already know that this is my last Christmas as FSDF Chief Executive. I am told that my team is already making arrangements for a special and appropriate venue for my last FSDF Annual Lunch and it would be great to see you all there. Details will shortly appear on the FSDF website and we are already taking sponsorship bookings. Keep an eye out for your invitation.

From all of us at the FSDF, we wish you a very happy Christmas break (once we have fed the Nation!) and a more profitable 2018.
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Comment:The Food Storage & Distribution Federation: Well, it has been a busy and successful Federation year again, especially with Brexit, but as we approach Christmas, and the peak of our business activities, it is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the successes of 2017.(FROZEN & CHILLED FOODS)
Author:Sturman, Chris
Publication:Frozen & Chilled Foods
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Nov 1, 2017
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