Around 85
guests attended the flagship event of business support organisation The Food
and Drink Forum. 
Staged at
Southwell Racecourse, the annual supper is one of the largest networking events
for the East Midlands food and drink sector and attracted delegates from across
the region. 
The Food
and Drink Forum, which is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, has
members across the district, including manufacturers, food service operators
and businesses providing services for the food and drink sector. 
The supper heard from several key speakers including Beckie Rowland of
bakery giant Greggs who spoke about the recruitment of ex-offenders and the
importance of this within the community. 
Brown from Derbyshire family firm Bluebells Real Dairy Ice Cream also spoke
about the difficulties milk farmers face and farm diversification as a solution
to this. 
He also
added that the Food and Drink Forum had played a vital role in helping his
company to achieve SALSA approval allowing them to expand to sell to the
National Trust. 
speakers included Dips Patel from Loughborough-based Mistry and Co. who spoke
of their mission to use food to educate and inspire others. 
industry figures from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire,
Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland attended the event which also
featured displays by Nottingham Trent University, The Federation of Small
Businesses, Chemex and From The Notebook Ltd. 
Food and
Drink Forum chairman Peter Knight said that the food and drink sector had faced
an interesting and exciting year, speaking in particular of the success of the
Leicester Food Park, with the Forum having recently secured the management of
the park in a joint bid with the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire
Chamber of Commerce. 
He said: “I
am very pleased with how the first members’ supper at Southwell Racecourse has
gone. The evening has been a great success with members’ produce enjoyed by
around 85 guests and thought-provoking speeches.” 
Knight also thanked the Local Enterprise Partnership D2N2 for helping the Forum
move forward once again. 
Chairman of
D2N2 Peter Richardson said the Food and Drink sector was key in creating new
He said: “The
Food and Drink Forum are vital in providing businesses in the private sector
with everything they need to drive themselves forward. 
“In the
East Midlands we are at the heart of the UK’s economy and we need to strive to
be at the heart of Europe’s too. However, to do this the private sector needs a
voice, and the Food and Drink Forum offers companies that voice.” 
The Food
and Drink Forum was founded in 1988 as a not-for-profit, membership-led
organisation to stimulate and support the sustainable growth and development of
the food and drink industry in the East Midlands. 
Its aims
include championing the food and drink sector in the East Midlands, developing
strategic influencing partnerships within and outside the East Midlands, and
acting as a centre for information and knowledge on all subjects relating to
the food and drink sector in the region. 
It also
aims to stimulate and facilitate sustainable change within companies of all
sizes across the food chain, generate income and secure resources to meet the
needs of a high-quality service, and promote the food and drink sector to
future employees through education and the raising of skills. 
For more
information please visit
The photo shows, left to right Oliver Brown, from Bluebells Real Dairy Ice Cream, Dips
Patel and Parisha Mistry, both from Mistry and Co, and Peter Knight, Food and
Drink Forum chairman.
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR