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Floortje on phone

18th April 2023

Produced in Kent's CEO Chairs Finance & Resilience Workshop at DEFRA Food & Drink Summit

On 9 March 2023, the second DEFRA food and drink summit took place at the Oval in London, with over 100 local food producers attending next to a wide audience of local and national stakeholders and sector experts. For those who were unable to join, please find below a short summary and video links to the workshops given, plus links to resources shared on the day.

  • Finance and Resilience Workshop: Chaired by Floortje Hoette (Produced in Kent), this session explored key SME resilience issues, including looking at the role of finance, using a dedicated small business toolkit developed for the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) by Dr Maria Wishart (Warwick Business School). The self-help toolkit used throughout the session is available freely on NICRE’s website here: Resilience toolkit - NICRE. Video recording of session here.
  • Skills Workshop: This session was led by Louise Cairns (National Skills Academy for Food & Drink) and explored some of the Government programmes available to SMEs to help them recruit new staff and upskill existing employees. These include the use of Apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps and Sector Based Work Academies. Video recording of session here.
  • Innovation Workshop: Chaired by Simon Baty (Innovate UK) this session brought together Alice Jones (University of Nottingham Food Innovation Centre and Melton Mowbray Food Enterprise Centre), Christopher Kong (Better Nature) and Rob Martineau (TRIBE) to discuss what it means to be an innovative business and the support available for SMEs to innovate. Video recording of session here.
  • Export Academy Workshop – In this session, Irina Shmakova (Export Academy Adviser) and Emma Johnson (Food and Drink Regional Sector Specialist at the Department for Business and Trade) give an overview of food and drink exporting in the UK, and the support that the Department for Business and Trade can offer to SMEs looking to begin their exporting journeys. See our how-to guide here: Exporting. Video recording of session here.
  • Routes to Market Workshop – Chaired by Rachel Mallows (Food from England), this session brought together Tim Radcliffe (NHS England), Abi Adefisan (Yumchop) and Tim Radcliffe (Fever-Tree) to discuss the routes to market that are available to food and drink SMEs, including direct to consumer sales, public sector procurement, retail and exports. For more information on these routes to market, see our how-to guides: Direct to Consumer sales Public Sector Food and Catering Video recording of session here.
  • Routes to Retail: In conversation with a buyer – Marking the launch of our how-to guide on Routes to Retail, SALSA’s Jacqui Slatter is joined by Eleanor Barns-Graham from Ocado, to discuss what SMEs need to know about supplying to retailers. Video recording of session here.