Host sponsor law firm DWF, food testing company ALcontrol Laboratories and Lloyds bank all valued the opportunity to hear what was topping the agenda of the sector’s senior business leaders.
In this video interview, DWF head of retail and hospitality Hilary Ross highlighted: “The opportunity to not just to hear the issues people are facing but also how they are planning to change the models for their business [to cope with the changes].”
‘A rare opportunity’
ALcontrol md Mike McCorkell said that as a laboratory service firm the business tended to be several steps removed from the end customer. “So this was a rare opportunity for us to hear from senior decision-makers in the food industry affecting the customer, the retailer and the manufacturer.
“There are a number of areas where we are innovating to meet the needs of manufacturers and understanding there needs is extremely important to us. It’s quite hard for us to get access [to top executives] through our normal relationships.”
Lloyds Bank relationship director, manufacturing and industrials Carl Williamson said the forum provided valuable insights into the precise nature of the challenges facing the sector. “Over the past year we have lent more than £1bn to the manufacturing sector and we are committed to doing that for the next three years,” said Williamson.
‘Lent more than £1bn’
“From today we got a huge amount out of understanding the issues and challenges in the sector.”
From the wide-ranging debate, the sponsors singled out the importance of plugging the skills gap, how shoppers’ changing habits are impacting retailers and their suppliers, the implications of deflation and uncertainties surrounding the forthcoming General Election on May 7.
The BLF is a free-to-attend, morning event for senior executives in the food and drink industry. This year’s forum was staged at the offices of the host sponsor DWF at the Walkie Talkie building in central London on January 20.
Register for next year’s event by emailing Felicite.Burke@wrbm.com.
Meanwhile, watch out for more news from DWF next month when FoodManufacture.co.uk reports from the law firm’s seminar on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
- This video was produced by Laurence Gibbons.