Since its establishment in 1998, The Food and Drink Forum Ltd has built a strong reputation for supporting and developing successful food enterprises as well as representing the industry at a local, regional and national level.
The Forum is lead by an industry Board sourced from regional businesses, academic institutions and other key bodies involved in food and drink manufacturing and its supply-chains. They strive to always ensure the Forum’s services and funded support are reflective of businesses’ needs. Working with national funding bodies, local and regional economic development agencies, local councils and, most importantly, the businesses within the sector, the Forum continues to stimulate and support the sustainable development of the industry. Projects include:
- The first public/private food park in the UK (Southglade Food Park) was opened in 2005 by The Forum to provide food manufacturers with modern food grade premises and easy access to business support. This uniquely successful £5m project has enabled start-up and SMEs to build their businesses in confidence. The success of the project has led to Phase 2’s approval by Nottingham City Council (June 2013) that will entail the construction of 11 additional units to fulfil continued demand for food grade premises in the area.
- In conjunction with regional partners in the East Midlands, the Forum operates The Food and Drink iNet (innovation network) to co-ordinate specialist support to stimulate innovation in the food and drink industry. Working at the heart of the food and drink sector, the iNet has developed an effective network that can provide funding to bring businesses’ ideas and academic expertise together to drive innovation. In its first three years the Food and Drink iNet has supported more than 80 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with grants for innovation projects and delivered over 1000 instances of one-to-one tailored business advice and guidance.
The Forum is managed by a team of dedicated food industry professionals with a wealth of experience and expertise between them. Their first-hand knowledge of a wide range of industry issues can be used to support businesses to avoid pitfalls and grasp opportunities so as to flourish and grow. The Forum’s membership is open to firms throughout the food supply chain, from primary producers to retailers and distributors, but the majority of our members are small and medium-sized processors and manufacturers. The Forum’s services provide relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to all companies – whatever size or stage of development they may be at.
As a not-for-profit organisation, you can be assured of the Forum’s commitment to your business’s success.