In the UK, the Water Dispenser & Hydration Association (the WHA) has announced its full launch, after its soft launch in January 2020 was stemmed by the covid pandemic.
The new association, borne out of two long-established trade bodies, is aimed at being bigger, better, and stronger in terms of the service it can supply to bars, hotels, restaurants, clubs, and foodservice.
The WHA is urging those specifying water dispensers to ensure they only use association members. Providing hydration is no longer just a matter of coolers or filtration systems: the water dispense sector encompasses integrated tap systems, bottled water coolers, and mains-fed coolers.
The WHA’s general manager, Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, said:
“The past 2 years have seen a consolidation of the previous associations under one banner and now is the time for people to recognise that the WHA’s promise of quality, trust and standards which are embodied in our logo are there for the benefit of end users.”
“Prioritising members of the WHA when you are specifying water for back-of-house or whether it is for front-of-house enjoyment by guests, helps guarantee best practice and delivers peace of mind. Hydration alone isn’t enough; it must be healthy hydration. That is what our members deliver, and we underpin that guarantee of unimpeachable service and hygiene.”
Jon Wicks, the WHA’s chairman, added: “Our strapline – quality, trust, standards – represents all the elements that make our association strong. Our training and standards ensure best practice, offering quality of products and service people can trust when selecting suppliers to deliver safe, hygienic water systems. We chose to use the word ‘dispenser’ rather than ‘cooler’ in our name because, whilst water coolers remain at the heart of the sector, today there are numerous other systems for delivering hydration too.
“Our membership body represents those involved in creating, delivering, and servicing all of these. We are responding to the changing landscape in this sector. What unites us all is a commitment to safety and standards and to delivering good quality hydration for a range of settings. For the hospitality sector, where wellness and sustainability are increasingly important factors, using a WHA member just makes sense.”
WHA general manager, Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, with WHA chairman Jon Wicks