Business Leaders Forum

Exclusive forum to tackle sustainable supply chain and labour crisis

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Richard Clothier, boss of Wyke Farms, addresses plastic waste at the 2019 Business Leaders Forum
Richard Clothier, boss of Wyke Farms, addresses plastic waste at the 2019 Business Leaders Forum

Related tags Supply chain Technology & Automation

Building sustainable supply chains and managing the labour crisis will be the overarching topics of Food Manufacture's exclusive, annual face-to-face Business Leaders Forum on the morning of 17 March in London.

Attendance at the event, which was first held in 2007, is free, by invitation from Food Manufacture​ editor Rod Addy and open to senior business leaders within food and drink processors.

The forum, which is sponsored by Columbus, has been held almost every year for the past 15 years, with the exception of last year because of pandemic-related restrictions.

As an unparalleled networking opportunity, it has always attracted a mix of top bosses from major names such as Coca-Cola Europacific Enterprises, 2 Sisters Food Group and Greencore and managers of smaller businesses.

Impactful challenges

The summit lasts for just a morning, leaving the afternoon free to arrange meetings, and will take place at 30 Euston Square in central London, next to Euston Station. It takes the form of a debate under Chatham House rules on some of the most impactful challenges facing the industry, concluding with a buffet-style lunch, for those keen to catch up with their peers.

The morning will be split into two sessions (take a look at the programme below). The first will focus on supply chain resilience and will cover green procurement, energy efficiency, slashing pollution and managing soaring commodity costs.

The second half will concentrate on how businesses have the right skills to keep pace with the latest technology, industry 5.0, the impact of future trade deals and maintaining morale in uncertain times.

To enquire about being part of the debate, which is strictly limited to current managers and directors of food manufacturers, email ebq.nqql@jeoz.pbz​ 

Business Leaders Forum at a glance

Date:​ 17 March

Venue:​ 30 Euston Square, London NW1 2FB


8.45am – 9.10am​                             Registration and coffee

9.10am – 9.25am​                             Welcome: Rod Addy

9.25am – 10.45am​                           Discussion begins

Main subject: Supply chain resilience: Plan A-Z


  • Preparing for climate change

How can the industry manage the impact of climate change on raw material procurement?

  • I just don’t have the energy

What can processors do to minimise the effects of soaring energy costs?

  • Environment for change

What are the biggest challenges to reducing pollution across the supply chain?

  • Margin for improvement 

How can food and drink manufacturers protect margins and improve efficiency in a climate of increasing raw material costs?

10.45am – 11.00am ​                        Tea and coffee

11.00pm – 12.20pm​                         Discussion continues

Main subject: The Skills Crisis


  • People power

How can the sector tap into future skills provision and adapt to the altered dynamics and rising costs of the new labour market?

  • Industry 5.0

How is digitalisation benefiting food businesses and where is technology heading after industry 4.0?

  • Trading places

How will future trade deals affect UK producers and the domestic market?

  • Stress test

How can managers and employees work together to keep morale high in uncertain times?


12.20pm   ​                                        Closing remarks

12.30pm​                                           Buffet Lunch

2.00pm ​                                            Close

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