BEST WISHES TO CAFAP FROM
Though a fledgling organization, the Caterers Association Federation of Andhra Pradesh (CAFAP) based in Vijayawada boasts of multiple activities that emphasized their presence in the catering industry. With members ranging from the modest home-based caterers to the large-scale outdoor caterers, the CAFAP has a huge membership base covering all the 13 districts in the state.
Varadarajulu, President, CAFAP, says that there are more than 1300 members in the association with a majority of them being home-based caterers. “There are many couples who are into the catering business. They take orders and the entire family gets involved in preparing the food and delivering it to the customer.”
Speaking about CAFAP, Varadarajulu of Sasi Caterers in Vijayawada, says their organization works in coordination with the district committees. Elected representatives of the district committees are executive members of CAFAP.
The AP unit was necessitated nine years ago after the bifurcation of the state. “With 12 of us as the founding members, CAFAP took shape,” he recalls. The members include those involved in outdoor catering. “Even restaurants engaged in outdoor catering services are our association members.”
Vijay Kaulwar Munna, General Secretary, CAFAP, says that their association organizes several awareness camps and workshops on food safety, food quality, cooking and serving customized dishes, GST, food chemicals, etc. In every camp, we insist that our members maintain quality in the food served to the customers as it is a noble business, he said.
“We also suggest that the district committees ensure safety of the catering workers by opting for group insurance. Our association also helps out caterers by telling them about the know-how of preparing new dishes and in procuring the ingredients for them,” says Munna.
Balagangadhar Tilak, vice president, CAFAP, said the association also tries to provide financial assistance to meritorious children of caterer members. “CAFAP helped provide monetary help to nearly 100 children of our members so far. We raised a corpus fund of Rs 30 lakh and are planning to construct a permanent building for the association very soon. We are in the process of identifying suitable land.”
“To avoid food wastage, in case the number of guests is less than that specified by the customer, the leftover food is suggested to be distributed in orphanages, old age homes and to destitutes at railway stations and government hospitals.”
“Our association helped around 20 families of our members secure insurance after the breadwinners died either in accident/fire mishap at workplace.” CAFAP is affiliated to Federation of All India Caterers (FAIC) which holds convention every two years at different places. When our association members attend these conventions, we also go for sight-seeing in those places. Around 18 states are affiliated to the FAIC and over 5,000 people attend these events, said Varadarajulu.
The association also organizes ‘Kartika Samaradhana’ every year during which mass feeding is done to over 10,000 people on the banks of River Krishna. “We invite chefs, catering workers and all others involved in the catering services for this programme every year, chipped in Tilak of Yes Caterers in Vijayawada.”
Bheemeswara Rao, member of CAFAP, based in Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh, underlined the need for an association for the caterers. For that matter, people of all trades have associations. This will help be united and seek help from each other, he said.
“When I go to some new place, members of our association in those places do help us in delivering good services to our customers. I am went to Tenali when I got some catering contract there. At that time, our association vice-president Tilak helped me a lot in sourcing workers and procuring vegetables. Likewise, I too reciprocated when he came to Rajamahendravaram after he got a contract here. The mutual understanding and support are the biggest benefits any association would lend to its members. The familiarity we gain with other members through the association is something which cannot be done at a personal-level. As an individual, I cannot meet so many people from different places but our association helps us develop the bonding by organizing events and meetings frequently.”