Jo Murphy
Catherine Wright

Three new business advisors have been appointed to help food and drink firms in the East Midlands to develop.

The Food and Drink iNet advisors will support companies to implement new ideas, new products and new processes with the aim of helping them to grow their business through innovation.

The Food and Drink iNet has been supporting the sector across the region for more than two years with a team of advisors. But now, for the first time and following the launch of phase two of the Food and Drink iNet, there is a dedicated advisor for each large county in the East Midlands.

“This expansion of the Food and Drink iNet advisory team means that we can build on the advice and support that we offer to businesses working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands,” said Food and Drink iNet director Andrew Butterwick. “In the current climate, innovation is essential to ensure that the regional food and drink industry continues to develop and remain competitive.

“The support provided by the iNet during the first two years of the project was welcomed by food and drink manufacturers in the region as an original way of supporting and encouraging innovation in the sector in the East Midlands. We intend to build on this in the future via a number of different channels, and are delighted to welcome additional advisors to our team.”

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. One of four iNets, it strives to develop an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.

It aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.

The new Food and Drink iNet advisors are Jo Murphy, who is covering Northamptonshire, Stevie Jackson, who is supporting businesses in Leicestershire and Rutland, and Catherine Wright, who is covering Nottinghamshire. All have experience of business support and the food and drink sector.

They join iNet advisors Paul Sheppard, who is responsible for support in Derbyshire, and Rachel Linstead, who covers Lincolnshire. Susan Tate, who previously covered Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, has moved to become contract and project manager at the Food and Drink iNet.

The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.

Contact an advisor by visiting or calling 0845 521 2066.