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News release - Issued by Make It York

Not all puds and parkin
York Food and Drink Conference
Reveals conference speakers

What does the future hold for Yorkshire’s food sector in a post Brexit world? This question and many others will be debated by key personalities and experts in their field, when they speak at the city’s second Food and Drink Conference this coming September. Make It York reveals top names in this year’s line-up at the conference, sponsored by Harrowells Solicitors. Taking place on Thursday 14 September at the Principal York Hotel, the conference will feature inspirational stories, case studies and discussion about the rapidly changing consumer demands and possible implications of Brexit.

Themed around the Future of Food and Drink; Changes and Challenges, the audience will hear from experts in the sector. Hosted by Food and Drink sector specialist, Mr Chris Stott, Partner, KPMG, attendees will hear from a variety of experts in the food and drink industry, including Nestlé, Booths Supermarkets, Brew York and York-based Rafi Spicebox.

*The food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK accounting for over 18.3 % of manufacturing output and an estimated value of £95.4bn. York and the surrounding area is home to one of the largest concentrations of food and drink producers in the UK, ranging from multi-nationals to an ever growing number of specialist artisan makers and brewers.
Other confirmed speakers include: Professor Bob Doherty, Principal Investigator IKnowFood University of York; Nigel Murray, Commercial Director, Booths Supermarkets; Jennifer Middleton, CEO Lemon Zest, Paul Brereton, Head of Agri-food Research FERA, Charlie Simpson-Daniel, MD New World Foods Europe; Peter Clinker, Nestle, Kevin Butterworth, Marketing Director, Seabrook Crisps and lee Grabham co-founder of Brew York.

As part of the conference delegates will hear business case studies from some of the regions fastest growing SME’s.

Peter Mills, Marketing Manager, Harrowells, said, “If last year is anything to go by, we’re sure it will be a brilliant conference for everyone attending and speaking. It’s a real pleasure to be involved with this inspiring event and we’re very much looking forward to it.”

Yorkshire is home to two of the UK’s major supermarkets, Asda and Morrisons, whilst North Yorkshire based Froneri is the third largest ice cream manufacturer in the world. The region is also among the largest agricultural areas in the UK, and is home to the Food and Environmental Research Agency and national Centres of Excellence for Innovation in Livestock and Crop Health and Protection.

Charles Storr, Business Growth Manager, Make It York, said, “A range of issues will affect the region’s sector in the future; everything from changes in legislation to how companies need to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of a post Brexit Britain. By being ahead of the curve when it comes to changes in consumer demands, new laws and marketing styles, we’ll ensure that together Yorkshire is best placed to grow its food and drink sector”.

Ian Wight, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, who has added his support for the event said, “It offers businesses of all sizes a genuine and informative insight in to the topical matters affecting the industry and a great networking opportunity.”

Jennifer Middleton CEO, Lemon Zest PR, will also be a key speaker at the event and will be sharing her insights on Marketing to New Trends and Changing Demands. Yorkshire based Lemon Zest PR has built a reputation as one of the most effective small consultancies in the North of England and a champion for local food. She has led award winning regional food campaigns for Deliciouslyorkshire, Taste Cumbria and Taste Lancashire as well as run Malton and Taste Cumbria food festivals.

Jennifer added, “We’re proud to be supporting the York Food and Drink Conference and are excited to introduce businesses to our thoughts on how to authentically stand out in the food and drink sector. Yorkshire food isn’t all Yorkshire puds and parkin, there is a wealth of promise and potential in this county and I look forward to offering my insights.” Relevant to food producers, retailers, farmers and restauranteurs in the York and wider York areas and with networking opportunities for local York companies involved with food and drink production and retailing, the conference will run prior to the York Food and Drink Festival which runs from 22nd September to 1st October.

To find out more about how to attend or get involved please visit yorkfoodanddrinkconference or contact Charles Storr, Business Growth Manager, Make It York: Email


Notes to editors:

*Source – Office National Statistics


Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) – Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Key business & investment facts:
The York economy is currently worth £4.75billion (GVA), supporting around 8,105 businesses and 114,000 jobs.

*Ian wright the principal speaker at last year’s conference will not be attending this year’s event as it clashes with another engagement, however, he is lending his support.