Trends and opportunities for local food and drink in the 2020s will be the topic of a conference for South East food and drink businesses, chaired by Sheila Dillon from BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, on 17th March in Maidstone.
“Food and drink businesses from across East Sussex, Essex and Kent are invited to the Good Food Growth South East conference on upcoming consumer trends and eco-friendly innovations,” said Graham Peters DL, Vice Chairman, South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
“The conference is the final event in a series of focus groups, training workshops and ‘meet the buyer’ events funded by South East Local Enterprise Partnership to help local producers in the region make the most of opportunities this decade.”
Conference speakers include Morgan Griffiths from thefoodpeople, elaborating upcoming food and drink trends, from popular ingredients to the societal thinking and ethics behind expected consumer eating and buying behaviour.
Abi Aspen Glencross from Pale Green Dot will be talking about creating a circular economy for chefs and the hospitality industry and Touch Packaging will focus on eco-friendly and sustainable food and drink packaging innovations coming up which the sector will need to tap into to be successful.
More than 100 artisan producers in the region have participated in the Good Food Growth South East events so far, covering products from spirits, wines and beers to fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, baked goods, prepared and smoked products, confectionary and dairy including milk, cream, cheese and ice cream.
Continued Graham Peters, “We are blessed with a huge range of very creative food and drink producers in the South East and with our vicinity to London and a large population, we have a huge market right on our doorstep.
“The impact of the UK’s exit from the EU and a growing demand from the public for high quality, local, traceable produce with a wholesome story behind it, means our food and drink industry should go from strength to strength and we want to help wherever we can.”
The Good Food Growth project is funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to boost the local rural economy, managed by Natural Partnerships CIC, with support from East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Produced in Kent and Essex Chambers.
The conference runs from 10am – 2pm on Tuesday 17th March at The Orangery, Turkey Mill, Ashford Road, Maidstone. To register for a place, go to: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GFGFoodtrends