The LACA Main Event is the ONLY national event dedicated to the school food sector

The LACA Main Event and School Food Show will take place on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th July.

The theme of this year's LACA Main Event is "Levelling Up School Food".  With significant cost increases, staffing shortages, and funding shortfalls, providing nutritious meals to children has become increasingly challenging. In response to these challenges, LACA has launched a campaign urging all political parties to commit to a minimum funding level of PS3 per meal (index linked) in their general election manifestos. 

The programme and features at the Main Event will address the disparities in school meals funding across the nations and explore strategies to ensure that all children and young people receive the very best school food to support their growth and learning. 

As a school caterer, the LACA Main Event is a must-attend to find out how your service can navigate through the current landscape.

Incorporating two main elements

The LACA School Food Show is a free-to-attend exhibition of more than 160 suppliers.  Visitors to the School Food Show can also attend the live demonstrations and interactive workshops. Delegates booking places for the Main Event will have access to all areas of the event including forum speaker sessions, LACA Live and the workshops.  There are also options to add to accommodation and dinners to your booking.

Everything you need is there

Why attend?

  • Engage in thought-provoking and inspirational seminars delivered by industry leading experts

  • Experience unrivalled networking opportunities with suppliers at the School Food Show and during the informal and Awards dinners

  • Reunite with colleagues to discuss the issues facing education caterers nationwide

  • Celebrate the achievements of industry peers at the LACA Awards for Excellence dinner

  • Visit free-to-attend workshops and LACA Live demonstration sessions

The School Food Show which runs alongside the Forum is the only exhibition dedicated 100% to the school food sector, with over 160 exhibitors it is the ideal place to find solutions to a wide range of requirements from food and beverage products which all help education caterers meet the nutrient guidelines in place, cashless payment and nutrition software solutions to furniture and dining room marketing.

The Show is open to all school caterers, managers and contract caterers to attend free of charge.

Unrivalled networking opportunities

One of the greatest benefits of being at the Main Event is the unrivalled networking opportunities it offers. The School Food Show is the chance to catch up with your suppliers and discuss new products, as well as source new ideas.  For Forum delegates arriving on Wednedsay, the accommodation package includes a place at the LACA icebreaker evening and of course there's the LACA Awards for Excellence dinner once again on Thursday night where you can celebrate the achievements of industry colleagues.

Awards & Competitions      

Now open for entries!  The LACA Awards for Excellence recognising and celebrate excellence from across the industry, the awards dinner for 2024 will take place on Thursday 4th July.

The School Chef of the Year 2024 national final will take place on 3rd and 4th July with the winners revealed during the LACA Awards for Excellence dinner.  The LACA Grab'N'Go Challenge - Competitors are required to prepare cook and present four portions of a grab & go snack with a total cost per head of 80p.

Finishing Touches Competition - Entries for the 12 classes will be on display on Thursday 4th July with the winners announced later the same afternoon.

An overview of timings for your diary are:

Wednesday 3rd July

Exhibition viewing and conference sessions

LACA School Chef of the Year Final

Networking Dinner

Thursday 4th July

Exhibition viewing and conference sessions

LACA School Chef of the Year Final

Awards for Excellence dinner

Please note that only exhibiting suppliers are able to attend the event in 2024.