Eco directive could hit refrigeration companies - CESA

COMMERCIAL refrigeration equipment manufacturers have warned that the proposed Eco Design Directive could place significant costs on refrigeration companies and discourage them from developing new technologies.
The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) reports that the new directive would require all models to be tested - a costly undertaking for manufacturers and suppliers in the foodservice sector where customisation and non-standard equipment is increasingly demanded.

EFCEM (the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers), of which CESA is a member, recently met with the EU Commission at a consultation forum to discuss the future development of catering equipment, focusing particularly on refrigerated cabinets, blast chillers and walk-in cold rooms. A key issue of the forum was the Eco Design Directive.

'Manufacturers' ability to customise models is an essential requirement in the foodservice sector, due to the varying demands of operators and their site requirements,' says Keith Warren, director of CESA. 'Some refrigeration companies offer literally hundreds of different variants.

'The latest EU proposals are in the form of an Implementing Measure under the Eco Design Directive. The outcome of the work on commercial refrigeration could place significant development and testing costs on companies, as well as a major administrative burden on technical and testing staff. If they are applied to every model variant, then there is a danger that they will discourage companies from developing the new technologies that are essential if we are to meet sustainability and environmental commitments.

'EFCEM told the Commission that these issues have to be addressed before the final proposals are agreed. We underlined the need to ensure that legislation and regulations encourage rather than discourage manufacturers to develop energy saving equipment.

'The proposals as they stand could dramatically affect the foodservice industry's ability to cut energy consumption. They are non-sustainable.'
CESA represents over 160 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment.

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