Business Leaders' Forum

Key takeaways from Business Leaders' Forum 2024

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Food Manufacture caught up with some of the delegates at Business Leaders’ Forum 2024 to find out their key takeaways from this year's event.

Captains of industry from across the food and beverage sector descended on the Hilton Bankside in London last week to examine the pressures affecting their businesses and discuss the potential solutions to them.

Key topics brought up by delegates included work towards meeting environmental and social governance (ESG) targets, the complexities of new regulations and trading outside of the EU.  

Nick Behari, Vion Food Group country manager for the UK and Ireland, said the conversation in the room surrounding sustainability confirmed that the industry was headed in the right direction and that businesses should go on and keep investing in areas such as sustainable meat in the future.

In the same boat

Ricky Flax, Delightful Food Group chief executive, said the forum had helped to reiterate just how overcomplicated current rules and regulations were and that he wasn’t alone in that observation.

“Everything being introduced is really positive and we’re going in the right direction, but they’re ​[the UK government] not allowing smaller and medium sized companies to actually be able to implement things without spending an absolute fortune,” ​Flax added.

DuelFuel founder Tim Davies said it was encouraging to see that most business were facing the same problems but to different degrees.

Different shades

“If you like, the same colour of problem, but a different shade of it​,” he added. “When you are at the coalface in a business, it sometimes is easy to personalise the challenge – this is just us that is facing this.

“It’s only when you take a step away – as this event has allowed me to – and talk to my peer group and other industry leaders that actually, we’re all in this together. We compete, but we all have the same common issues we face as well.”

Adam Starkey, founder and executive chair of Green Gourmet, summed up the forum best: “I’m the person who hates Teams meetings and I think ​[virtual conferences] are terrible for industry. You need to be in the same space, you need to drink coffee, it’s got to be face-to-face.”

Food Manufacture's Business Leaders' Forum June 2024 is sponsored by Amber, Aptean & Tracegains.

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