As the School Food Sector starts to ‘get back on track’, this year’s Main Event will take a look at the future of our service with in-depth sessions on sustainability and technology.

In addition to this this in 2022 we are also pleased to announce the return of LACA Live with cookery demonstrations focusing on local and sustainable produce taking place in the Monarch Suite on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th July.  Those showcasing their culinary skills at LACA Live this year include former England rugby player and Celebrity Masterchef winner, Phil Vickery representing Creed Foodservice, school chefs working with Love British Food, HCL Ltd sharing their expertise in fruit carving and ProVeg showcasing some of their SchoolPlates recipes.  View LACA Live Programme

Our ever popular and informative Workshop Sessions will also return this year with sessions tailored for both kitchen managers and, service directors/managers will offer practical advice and share best practice case studies. Angela Tregear of the University of Edinburgh Business School is returning to update us about the Carbon Calculator measuring the carbon footprint of the sector with other workshops focusing on energy efficient kit, team wellbeing and sustainable sourcing. 
View the Workshop Programme


Main Event Delegate Programme

The programme below outlines the closed sessions which are only accessible for delegates:

Wednesday 6 July 2022

9.30 School Food Show exhibition opens
12.00-14.00 Lunch & exhibition viewing
14.15 LACA Forum opens
LACA's year in focus

Opening Address and Introduction to this year’s Main EventJacquie Blake, LACA National Chair

School Food – The Ninth Lesson
Exemplar schools share their holistic approach to school food. 
We will be joined by:

  • Paul Evans, Operations Director of School Health UK and Co-Chairman of The British Obesity Society to discuss the role a Better Lunchtime can have in improving the school day; how to get headteachers to 'care' about school  lunchtimes and the importance of school meals in contributing to tackling childhood obesity and poverty in England.
  • Amanda Dillon, Sandfield School
  • Claire Ponder and HCL Schools

The Connected Kitchen
The role of technology and automation for the school kitchen today and into the future.
Speakers include: Keith Warren, FEA, he will be joined by Amelia Jonas, Food Development Manager, Karakuri who will be talking about Semblr, the world’s leading food service robot combining robotics, automation and machine learning.

16.15 Keynote: TBC
17.00 Forum day one closes
19.30 LACA informal icebreaker evening

Thursday 7 July 2022


LACA Forum delegate registration opens - hotel and Monarch foyers

LACA School Food Show - exhibition opens, Palace and Monarch Suites

9.30 Forum day two opens - Welcome and LACA Year in Focus
9.45 - 10.15 Keynote:
Tom Heap, 39 ways to save the planet

'39 Ways to Save the Planet, emerged from a determination to celebrate the successes in our fight against climate change. Knowing where we are winning is fascinating in itself and vital to enlarging those victories and stemming anxiety.
10.15 - 11.30

The Sustainable School Kitchen      
Tom Heap hosts a panel of subject matter experts to discuss the school food sectors role in the UK’s journey towards Net Zero  - what can realistically be achieved and by when?
Panelists:  Jacquie Blake, LACA National Chair;  Dale Vince, Chair Forest Green Rovers; Eleanor Morris, WRAP and Jack Ward, CEO,  British Growers Association.

11.30 - 12.00 Marketing and Branding your School Food Service
Claire Roper
12.00 - 14.00 Lunch and exhibition viewing
14.30 Announcement of the Winners of 2022 Finishing Touches and Best in Class and Best in Show
Open to visitors and Forum delegates, Kings Suite
14.45 Forum resumes

Four Nations Session 2022

With nearly 90% of children across the UK choosing to eat a school meal at least once a week*, our speakers representing each of the four nations, will discuss and debate the current priorities and challenges for the school meals service. This will be a wide-ranging discussion covering areas including: each nation’s food standards and what changes may be required as a result of The National Food Strategy, Good Food Nation Bill in Scotland and the roll out of free school meals to all primary children in Wales.

Speakers will also focus on investment in and funding of the service, recruitment and supply chain issues in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world and what impact the ongoing conflict in Ukraine might have on fast-rising food and energy costs.

Speakers:  Brad Pearce (England), Judith Gregory (Wales) and Jayne Jones (Scotland).
*ParentPay and LACA School Meals Report


Keynote: Natasha’s Law 9 months on    
Tanya Ednan-Laperouse OBE and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE, Natasha’s Allergy Research Foundation (NARF)

Following on from their deeply moving and impactful speech at the Main Event 2021, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE return to update us on the impact of Natasha's Law to date and to discuss the next steps in creating a world that is safe for all allergy sufferers, everywhere.

16.30 Forum day two closes
19.00 Drinks Reception
19.45 LACA Awards for Excellence Dinner, Kings Suite - Find out more

Friday 8 July 2022

8.00 Networking Breakfast, Kings Suite
9.30 Forum resumes
9.40 SCOTY Interview
David Foad talks to the newly crowned winner of SCOTY 2022

Research Update:– ParentPay and LACA School Meals Report

Brad Pearce, LACA Vice Chair and Merica Wilsher, Head of Sales at Cypad (part of ParentPay Group) will discuss the findings from the latest ParentPay, Cypad and LACA research capturing the views of parents and carers on the key issues for the school meals service including allergen management, The National Food Strategy, sustainable sourcing, meal uptake, cashless payments and the role of digital technology.


Levelling up school food
James Toop, Chief Executive of the charity,  Bite Back 2030 and members of their  Youth Board join us to talk about their mission to help ensure that every young person has access to healthy and nutritious food, no matter where they live.

He will be joined by Cath Elliston, Head of Campaigns, Jamie Oliver Group

11.15 - 11.45 LACA Political and Policy Update

11.45 - 12.00

Chair's handover and closing remarks

PDF icon Downloadable PDF version of LACA Programme 2022984.97 KB