Three East Midlands companies will be throwing open their doors to fellow regional businesses as part of a series of factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

The visits have been arranged to highlight best practice ways of working, and are designed to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food sector.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food industry, the visits have been designed to illustrate how firms can keep ahead of their competition.

The first event is hosted by Molson Coors Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, on October 27th from 9am. It will be followed by a visit to British Sugar plc, Newark, on January 28th 2010. The third visit takes place on February 4th 2010 at Rolls-Royce, Derby.

”Companies can learn a lot from each other, and we are delighted that three such well-known and respected businesses have offered to host these best practice factory visits,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet director. “Those who attend will be able to see first hand the tools and techniques used by key companies in the sector.”

The Molson Coors Brewery visit will give companies the opportunity to see how the firm stays at the top through automated process control, remote monitoring, and having operators developed to technician level, added Peter.

Grania Towle, of Molson Coors, said: “This is an ideal place to visit as, like many companies, they haven’t got the benefit of a newly built factory and are embarking on a journey to implement ‘world class’ practices into an old operational factory. Visitors can see the new alongside the old, and witness at first hand the lessons learnt.”

Molson Coors (UK) has more than 2,000 employees in the UK and breweries at Burton-on-Trent, Alton and Tadcastle. It is the UK arm of Molson Coors and has a market share of over 20% of the UK beer market. Brands include, Carling, the UK’s best selling lager for three decades, as well as Coors Light, Grolsch, Worthington’s, Caffrey’s, Sol and Cobra.

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, said: “These factory visits aim to promote best practice to managers of other regional food and drink businesses who want to develop their own companies. We recognise the importance of people coming together to share expertise and knowledge, it is one of the reasons why the iNets were established, and I am sure that the people who go on these visits will all learn something new that they can apply in their own businesses.”

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

For more information about the visits or to reserve a place, contact 01664 420066 or

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit


Notes to editors:

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet please contact Peter Maycock on 0845 521 2066. For information on the visits contact David Walklate on 01664 420066.

About emda

East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has:

• Had a significant impact on the region’s economy

• Generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs

• Put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every £1 it spends

• Produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year

• A wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.

emda is committed to supporting the region through the current downturn and has put in place a range of measures to provide real help during these challenging times.

Over the long term, emda’s aim is to deliver the 2006 Regional Economic Strategy (RES) by working in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations. The RES highlights the themes of productivity, sustainability and equality and sets out key priorities until 2020 to ensure the vision for ‘a flourishing region’ can be achieved.

For more details visit

About East Midlands Innovation

East Midlands Innovation is the Regional Science and Industry Council which was established in 2005 by emda.

East Midlands Innovation’s principal responsibility is to take the lead for emda in implementing the Innovation Strategy and Action Plan for the East Midlands with the aim to grow a long term, sustainable, innovation-led economy.

About iNets

In order to deliver the Regional Innovation Strategy and coordinate action under its four themes, emda and East Midlands Innovation have created four business led innovation networks (iNets) which are focused on the identified regional industry and research strengths across four priority sectors. These have been identified as:

• Healthcare and Bioscience

• Food and Drink

• Sustainable Construction

• Transport

The iNets are raising the level of innovation in their sectors, with the aim of stimulating the research and development of new products, services and processes.

For further information, visit