"WE is only as strong as its’ Members"

Derek Callaghan

WE Chairman and Director of Sales EMEA Icon Technology Systems

November 28, 2016

I am honoured to be taking over the position of Chairman from John Dundon, who has done so much to develop WE over the last two years.

  • WE

    As the new WE Chairman what do you envisage for WE?

  • Derek Callaghan

    WE is a strong, capable and growing commercial trade association. I am honoured to be taking over the position of Chairman from John Dundon, who has done so much to develop WE over the last two years. I look forward to working with Michal Zys of Get Fresh as the Vice Chairman. Over the past few years National Associations have adopted a pro-active approach to POU. WE must help NAs to continually raise standards in both bottled and POU to ensure there is a definite commercial benefit in quality and service between WE Members and non-members.

  • WE

    Describe the current watercooler market in Europe and where you think it is going?

  • Derek Callaghan

    It was very encouraging to learn from Zenith Global at the recent Paris Conference that by 2020 the total European market will advance a further 11% to almost 5.4 million units, with POU accounting for 31% of that total. This points to an encouraging future where WE has a pivotal role helping National Associations by providing training and technical standards.

  • WE

    What kind of training is offered by WE?

  • Derek Callaghan

    The Education & Audit Committee, headed up by Valbona Malo, have worked hard to produce three training courses which are designed to raise professionalism in the European water cooler industry. They are available to all National Associations to hold in their respective territories:

    - Hygiene Awareness Course

    - Bottled Water Plant Operator Course

    - Distributor (BWC & POU) Course

  • WE

    Technical information is vital – what is planned for the future?

  • Derek Callaghan

    The recent approval of the WE POU Guidelines by the European Commission and all Member States is a big step forward and Members are encouraged to comply. Our POU Committee, led by Matthew Lee of Icon Technology Systems, is looking to update and incorporate this Code into the WE Technical Manual. This project will be completed and published in 2017 and will provide all Members with a complete set of guidelines and standards. The BWCA has been carrying out research into the POU industry and it is hoped that this will be shared in 2017 to progress best practice in areas such as tubing, installation and filters. Damien Saleur, the new Chairman of the WE Technical and Standards Committee is overseeing a project on standardisation of the cooler probe interface – critical to cooler suppliers and bottlers within WE. Other projects are also planned for progress in 2017.

  • WE

    How does WE plan to improve communications with its Members and other stakeholders?

  • Derek Callaghan

    WE produces regular monthly newsletters which are sent to all Members. However, Craig Scott of Polymer Solutions, the Communications Committee Chair and his team are planning improvements to the website concentrating on the Expert Corner and technical information for Members to access. In Paris, those attending the National Association meeting met in groups and discussed and shared information on:

    - The challenges of BW and POU in the various markets.

    - What new products would Members like to see developed.

    There was a lot of lively discussion and we hope to repeat this interactive format again.

  • WE

    How important is the annual WE conference & trade fair to the Association?

  • Derek Callaghan

    Over the past few years it has been one of the objectives of WE to make the annual WE Conference, Fair, Gala Dinner and Aqua Awards a “not to be missed” major annual event. Those who visited Rome and Paris in recent years will have come away with new ideas and inspiration. The conference in Paris was very well attended and each of the speakers gave delegates a lot to think about and take back to their companies. The Gala Dinner was spectacular with the largest number attending for many years. Caroline Elliot, the new International Supplier and Fair Committee Chairperson will be leading the drive to continue to build on this success next year in Krakow 24 – 26 October, and in Dublin in 2018.

  • WE

    Any other comment you would like to make?

  • Derek Callaghan

    WE is only as strong as its’ Members and we encourage participation in the committees, attending the AGM in Berlin in April and of course our annual event in Krakow in October. Communication through the various committees is also encouraged and we look forward to achieving more dynamic, better and faster moving benefits for Members.

Past interviews