The Trade Association Forum (TAF), the association for UK trade associations, has presented its Sector Representation Award to CFA for its Chilled Education initiative. TAF Awards recognise, reward and promote best practice amongst Trade Associations and CFA’s chairman Des Kingsley, MD of S&A Foods received the Award on behalf of CFA on 10 July 2014.
Chilled Education (CEd) was launched in September 2011. Its aim is to inspire the next generation of chilled food scientists. Working with industry and education specialists it raises awareness of careers in the chilled food industry amongst teachers and schoolchildren and supports food science students.
Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Director explains: “Representing the sector is the primary role of a trade association so we are delighted to have been honoured by this award. CFA members have been involved in both the creation and delivery of CEd, visiting schools; and careers and science fairs to inspire and inform students and teachers with their own sector experience.
As CFA celebrates its 25th year this award is especially gratifying and confirms that we are helping to secure the future of the sector by spotting and fuelling the spark!”
Des Kingsley added: “The relative invisibility of the chilled food sector means it is often overlooked as career choice amongst scientists and technologists. In real term this means that there are currently around 350 science and technology graduate-level vacancies unfilled. So we are addressing the issue at source and already seeing positive results.”
Speaking about their decision the TAF Judges said: “CFA have undertaken a huge amount of work to impact positively on the massive skills shortage in the chilled foods industry. A brilliant submission outlined a very clever and appealing campaign which uses collaborative working with members to great effect. CFA spent their very limited resources wisely and now have a great long term view of the problem which will no doubt pay dividends.”
CEd is currently working with 900+ teachers in more than 600 Cool Schools, engaging with more than 50,000 students. Its resources (donated by CFA) are hugely popular, with 85,000 fridge thermometers and 25,000 Nanobug temporary tattoos sent out since 2011. Free CEd lesson plans have been downloaded more than 14,000 times, attracting 10,000 page views on the TES website. The website has attracted 27,000 page views, the careers pages are most popular. And CEd has sponsored 34 summer school students and has already placed its first student.