More than 130 professionals connected to the East Midlands food and drink sector took part in the annual general meeting and networking supper of business support organisation The Food and Drink Forum.

The Forum is one of the largest business support organisations in the region dedicated to the food and drink sector, with members across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

The annual general meeting and members’ networking supper, which took place at Kelham Hall, near Newark, is the flagship event of the organisation’s calendar.

During the event The Forum unveiled a new membership structure which it hopes will appeal to firms across the food and drink chain from producers and manufacturers through to distributors and retailers.

The new structure will also allow members to choose the level of support they need and to take advantage of new services that will be rolled out over the next year.

“The nature of business support is changing as a result of the political and economic landscape,” said Food and Drink Forum Managing Director Fiona Anderson. “However, we believe this makes our role as a sector-specific organisation even more relevant and even more important than ever for businesses.

“We have a commitment to the industry built up over 13 years. We know and understand the sector, and as a result we can offer services that are tailored to the industry’s needs and that help to achieve new orders, continued growth and access to new markets. We hope our new membership structure will appeal to existing members and also to others who work across a broad spectrum of the food industry.”

After the AGM, delegates received presentations from Sam Sangha, Managing Director of Nottingham-based importer and wholesaler of oriental foods Asiana Ltd, and his daughter Sandy Lathia, who is the firm’s Business Development Director, who spoke about bringing a product to market – describing how they developed and launched Siam Gold beer.

Head of Marketing at Pork Farms Ltd, Andy Napthine, went on to talk about Pork Farms’ brand relaunch, which came earlier this year as the brand marks its 80th anniversary.

This was followed by the Members’ Supper, sponsored by recruitment consultants Ambitions Personnel. Established in 1990, with 17 locations in the East Midlands, and currently supplying over 1500 temporary workers to the food industry on a daily basis, Ambitions Personnel believes that an organisation’s best ingredients should be its people.

The Food and Drink Forum is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, and is a membership organisation that supports the sustainable growth of the food and drink sector across the East Midlands.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the benefits of joining The Food and Drink Forum should call 0115 9758810 or visit

Photo caption:
Left to right: Food and Drink Forum Managing Director Fiona Anderson, Head of Marketing at Pork Farms Andy Napthine, Business Development Director Sandy Lathia and Managing Director Sam Sangha, both from Asiana Ltd.

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