More than 50 delegates have taken part in factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

They were given the chance to learn from some of the biggest names in the business in a series of three visits designed to highlight best practice ways of working.

Burton-upon-Trent brewery Molson Coors, British Sugar plc at Newark-on-Trent, and Rolls-Royce in Derby all threw open their doors to fellow East Midlands companies and academics to illustrate how they operate and stay ahead of the competition.

It was the chance for delegates from a wide range of businesses and universities to discover some of the latest techniques and production processes.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food industry, the visits were designed to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food and drink sector.

”Companies can learn a lot from each other, and we were very grateful and pleased that three enterprises such as Molson Coors, British Sugar and Rolls-Royce agreed to host these visits,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet project director. “I hope the visits will help delegates with future development and innovation at their own organisations.”

Martin Brittain, technical manager at Bilsthorpe-based Chantenay carrot and roots specialists Freshgro Ltd, joined the best practice visit to British Sugar plc at Newark.

“As I work for a company that washes and packs Chantenay and other roots, we have certain things in common with a business like British Sugar. We are both dealing with a natural product that is always varying but we need to produce a high, common standard,” said Martin.

“The visit was very useful, especially to see how they control maintenance and shift patterns, as this is an area that we are looking at currently. The best practice factory visits have been a useful concept, and I am sure that many of those who took part were able to learn about lots of different issues from some of the large and successful companies in the region.”

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, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit