Business support organisation The Food and Drink Forum has appointed a new commercial manager.

Andrew Collinson has joined the organisation in the new role and will be responsible for promoting The Food and Drink Forum skills and services, and for developing the business through private and public opportunities.

The Food and Drink Forum, which is based at the Business Centre at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, operates across the East Midlands and beyond, and is a not-for-profit, membership-led organisation. It was founded in 1998 to stimulate and support the sustainable growth and development of the food and drink industry in the region.

It provides a range of support for firms working in the sector in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, including technical services, accreditation, packaging and shelf-life advice, compliance, and marketing.

Since its launch, The Forum has forged strong, strategic links with a range of organisations and authorities to help develop the food and drink sector in the region, and has a track record of applying for funds on behalf of the industry. Andrew aims to build on this by developing current links and creating new partnerships and funding opportunities to benefit the food and drink sector across the East Midlands.

The Forum is also the lead partner of the Food and Drink iNet, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and provides innovation support to food and drink producers in the East Midlands.

A former sector development executive at Yorkshire Forward, Andrew said: “I am very pleased to have joined The Forum and I look forward to building on the reputation that the organisation has achieved within the industry as a key sector support body.

“The Forum has been helping companies to grow and develop for many years, and I relish the opportunity to raise awareness and promote the skills and services that it offers and to develop strategic links with public organisations.”

Andrew, who has an MBA in business management from the University of Hull, has more than ten years’ experience in creating and implementing business development projects across various disciplines to support business growth.

Food and Drink Forum managing director Fiona Anderson said: “Andrew has wide experience within the sector and we welcome him as part of the team.”

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR