About Us

Since inception in 1989, LACA has set out to inform, develop, represent and support its members through a range of initiatives and services.  The Association became a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2009.

The Association represents the School Food Industry and membership is open to all parties who make a contribution to this market sector - providers (public and private sector) client officers, consultants, suppliers and manufacturers. Individual schools may become members of the Association.

There are twelve regions; the english regions are based upon the government regional geographic structures and additonally there is a region in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. (The Northern Ireland region is currently dormant.) Some regions join together to run as one; these are currently London & South East Region and North East and Scotland Region

The organisation draws on the strengths of its membership nationally, and is managed through its members on a voluntary basis. Each region elects a representative to sit on the LACA Board and to become a Director of LACA Ltd. The Directors of LACA Ltd have overall  responsibility for decisions made by the Association.

There is a continuing need for all involved in the industry to work together to maintain high standards in the school catering service, and thus make a major contribution to the health of future generations.

Additionally  - by attracting as many customers as possible and providing an additional  learning opportunity within schools - an important public service should be maintained resulting in assured employment for the many thousands of staff, a vibrant supply industry in both food and equipment streams as well as the main improving public health target.. .

LACA Mission Statement:

Together, We Achieve Excellence in School Food

LACA Board of Directors

The Board is made up of the regional repesentatives together with the National Chair, the National Vice-Chairman, the Immediate Past Chairman and the Honorary Treasurer. The National Officers are elected from within the Board Members for a one year period of time - progressing from National Vice-Chairman to Chairman to Past Chairman - each volunteer committing three years to the national positions and ensuring continuity for the Association.

Board Members join one of four Working Groups - Events Group, Member Services Group, Communications Working Group or Finance & Administration Working Group. The Chair of each working group is elected by the Board (from the Board) for a period of two years.

The Working Groups have responsibility for various aspects of LACA activity (see later) and together with the National Chairman, the National Vice-Chairman and the Immediate Past Chairman form the National Steering Group.

National Steering Group

Role of the National Steering Group:

  • To recommend annual budget
  • To monitor operating costs
  • To let contracts and manage services when required
  • Income generation strategy
  • Assessment of individual working group expenditure proposed (The Board of Directors will agree the annual budget)
  • Co-ordinate LACA's response of national issues e.g. changes in legislation
  • Overview/review of Business Plan and Targets

* Note: Each Working Group Chair is required to develop a plan and review of work programme with associated budget for approval at the commencement of the year (January) by National Steering Group Committee and subsequently the LACA Board

Each Working Group Chair will manage, monitor and authorise payments to third party providers for services carried out against their committee budget. They will also be actively involved in drawing up tender specifications and documents (led by the Chair of F&A Working Group) when sub-contracted work is put out to the market place.

Members of National Steering Group

National Chair
Michael Hales's picture
Real name: 
Managing Director
Juniper Ventures Limited
0203 373 4380
National Vice Chair & Chair of Communications Group
Stephen Forster's picture
Real name: 
Business Development Director - Local Authority Group Contracts
National Vice Chair Elect
Jacqueline Blake's picture
Real name: 
Commercial Operations Manager
Nottingham City Council
0115 915 2024
0115 876 1740
Immediate Past Chair
Tim Blowers's picture
Real name: 
Head of County Catering Service
Derbyshire County Council
01629 585741
01629 535682
Chair of Member Services Group
Beverley A Baker's picture
Real name: 
01372 459266
07827 767478
Chair of Partners with LACA
Lin O'Brien MBE's picture
Real name: 
07956 686802
Chair of Events Group
Neil Porter's picture
Real name: 
Operations Director
BAM FM Limited
01179 448855
01179 448817
Chair of Finance & Administration Group
Hilary Witt's picture
Real name: 
01359 258825