Farm Shop & Deli Show announces speaker line up for 2018

Farm Shop & Deli Show 2018 returns to the NEC from 16 – 18 April

This year’s Farm Shop & Deli Show will be unmissable for owners of delicatessens, farm shops, restaurants, garden centres, food halls, butcheries and bakeries, offering the ideal opportunity for those looking to pick up trade secrets and business-boosting inspiration.

This year’s event, which will occupy 15% more floor space than last year, will showcase one of the strongest line-ups of live talks and debates to date, all gracing the ever popular Farm Shop & Deli Live stage. Each session has been curated to cover topical trends within the speciality sector such as the importance of sourcing local produce and stocking identifiable brands to add value. The series of talks are designed to help give real life insights to visitors to the show and share exclusive insights and tips to help retailers to make small changes to achieve big results and keep abreast of all the big industry issues of the moment. 

‘Re-thinking retail: achieving smart integration’ will be a popular session for retailers keen to maximise their sales. Speakers Luca Mathiszig-Lee &  Tom Richardson from Hill & Szrok, who run a thriving butchers by day and restaurant by night will take to the stage to share their insights on how to make smart integration work and make the most out of a business. Some of their secrets to success include ensuring consistency from website to shop floor, as well as offering the best organic products.

Speaking of top produce, ever more savvy consumers are demanding the best across all food sectors. With cheese as an integral part of any deli counter, business owners need to know their Stilton from their Cheddar. Knowledgable cheese writer and World Cheese Awards Judge Patrick McGuigan will take his audience through a tasting of new wave British cheeses as he reveals the latest trends and how to translate them into extra sales. From exciting new accompaniments to the secrets of creating an award-winning counter, attendees will learn how to be a cut above in the cheese world.

Food waste has been at the top of the media agenda for some time, as the issue weighs ever more heavily on consumers’ consciences. Matthew Fort, top TV personality, presenter and writer, will be interviewed live by Richard Fox, Love Food Hate Waste ambassador, on his thoughts on food waste and sustainability and what it means for businesses. As a highly respected figure in the UK food and drink industry, Matthew will also provide invaluable insight into his career so far.

Visitors will learn tips to reduce waste, as well as prolonging shelf life. Provenance, a similarly important issue for consumers, will also be discussed in a live interview with TV presenter Adam Henson. He will shed light on how speciality retailers can and should charge premium rates for quality produce.

Another big draw to the Farm Shop & Deli Live stage will be Laura Hamilton’s session on succeeding in the community. The Place in the Sun presenter will also be interviewed live by Richard Fox on how she took over her local post office to create a profitable community resource complete with a café and deli area. The interview will cover her plans for high-end sourcing and how niche products help her store stand out, inspiring attending business owners to take the next step in their outlets.

With three days of sessions, visitors can expect to pick up even more advice, such as how to think differently to stay ahead of the game and keep their operations fresh; improve in-store service and boost sales; introduce a second-to-none coffee offer with top retailer and trend-setting coffee expert Elliot Wallis from Monkshood Coffee; get onboard with the latest trends in drink with CGA Commercial Director Graeme Louden; and capitalise on the booming consumer trend for free-from food through marketing, with Karen Fewell of Digital Blonde.

There will be many more sessions at Farm Shop & Deli Live, all free to attend and designed to aid retailers in boosting their own bottom lines. Away from the stage, there will be plenty to keep attendees busy. One of the most popular elements of the show is the Farm Shop & Deli Awards Finals, held in association with sponsor PriceCardPro, which will be back for its fifth year. The awards highlight the very best independent retailers, recognising and celebrating the highest standards in the UK and Northern Ireland market. Hosted by Chair of Judges food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden, the winners will be revealed live at the show on Monday 16 April.  

British Baker’s Britain’s Best Loaf will also return for 2018. The judges will make a live announcement of who managed to rise to the challenge of offering the best bread across a range of categories, including Best Sourdough, Best Wholegrain, and Best Gluten Free Loaf.

Meanwhile, the sector’s most innovative entrepreneurs will brave the Dragon’s Pantry, presenting their best ideas to a panel of industry experts. Those who dare to pitch will be rewarded with professional advice on the best way to market and refine their offering.

Exhibitors will also be in with a chance to win the Great New Idea competition. All are eligible to enter, if their product has been launched within the last 12 months, with a winner announced at the show. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite prior to the show via

Farm Shop & Deli Show Commercial Manager, Dan Eversfield, said: “Artisan and speciality food can make a real difference to retailers in terms of profits and the kind of customers they attract into store and we’ve worked hard to create a show this year that allows visitors to learn how they can really utilise this strength to their benefit.”

Farm Shop & Deli Show takes place alongside the National Convenience Show, Foodex, the new Ingredients Show and Food & Drink Expo, which remains the UK’s largest food and drink trade event. Taking over the NEC in Birmingham, this combination of shows provide suppliers with access to a wealth of food and drink industry names, from retailer to manufacturers. You can register for free access to all of the show at

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For further press information please contact Lesley Foottit or Alasdair Copland in the event press office on 020 7240 2444 or email 

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