The board of Produced in Kent have announced the appointment of Floortje Höette who will lead the organisation from 13 January 2020, replacing Stephanie Durling who retired in October 2019.
Floortje joins Produced in Kent from Kent Business School, University of Kent where she was External Relations Officer, responsible for managing a range of activities including event management and partnership development with external partners including businesses, business support organisations, government bodies, Higher Education institutions and national and international alumni.
Prior to this appointment, Floortje has worked in a variety of senior roles in her native country of Holland including for the Netherlands Red Cross in The Hague, as well as in several other countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Nepal and South Sudan.
Stephen Clarke, Chair of Produced in Kent comments: “The board of Produced in Kent are delighted to announce Floortje’s appointment and she will bring to the role a considerable range of skills and experience, to ensure the continued success of the organisation into the next decade. Floortje will work closely with the board to develop a strategy to safeguard the future of Produced in Kent and she will be working hard with all of our partners to continue to support our members and the wider Kent food, drink and agriculture sectors.”
Floortje Höette comments: “I am very much looking forward to the challenge of leading Produced in Kent and further developing the range of services, support and events for members, as well as connecting with the wider food and drink sector, both here in Kent and further afield. Produced in Kent’s members, like many businesses, have been facing a degree of uncertainty in the current political climate. We will continue to do what we do best, which is to provide information and support to business leaders, guide them to grow their business sustainably and access funding, and to help build connections with other Produced in Kent members and the wider Kent business network.”
There are currently 2,500* food and drink businesses in Kent, employing 17,000* people and it is a sector which enjoys year on year growth.
Annually, the food and drink sector in Kent contributes £2.6bn to the UK’s food and drink industry each year and Kent is home to a number of national and international businesses.
Around the county, the natural resources which have led to Kent being named the Garden of England allow for a growing number of businesses farming, growing, producing, selling or serving really exciting, award-winning local food and drink enjoyed in Kent, throughout the UK and internationally.
*information from Locate in Kent 2019