FSD speakers blog pic

We’ve got some exciting guest speakers lined-up at The Farm Shop and Deli Show this year, discussing a range of topics from food waste to business growth. We caught up with four of the show’s special guests ahead of their talks to get some quick-fire insights.

 

Laura Hamilton - TV Presenter, Business Woman, Entrepreneur

Laura Hamilton is best known as one of the faces of Channel 4's popular television show 'A Place in the Sun' and has hands on experience when it comes to property. She started renovating houses aged 19 and has developed 16 properties to date. At the show she’ll be talking to audiences about how she took over her local post office to create a profitable community resource complete with café/deli area. We asked her to sum up her biggest learning during this process and she told us:“I’d had prior experience renovating but I had never taken on a commercial project before. This in itself was a huge challenge - designing the space for commercial use and ensuring I was complying with all the regulations. Staffing and sourcing produce was another challenge, but it was an exciting one and I’m really proud of what our team of 27 and I have achieved in just a year.”

 

Matthew Fort - Food Writer & TV Presenter

Top TV personality, presenter and writer Matthew Fort is one of UK food and drink’s best-respected figures. During the show, he’ll be answering questions about his career so far and talking about food waste and sustainability. We know what an important topic waste is for many of you, so we asked Matthew for some bite-sized advice on tackling this, here are two of the quick tips he gave us:

1. “Take a look at how Italian, French or Spanish markets present their food so that more is sold and less is spoiled.”

2. “Make someone with specific responsibility for waste reduction and reward them with the money their programme saves.”

 

Adam Henson – TV Presenter and Farmer

Adam Henson, is a well-known TV presenter, farmer and owner of the successful Cotswold Farm Park. He’s passionate about helping the public understand the integrity and pride farmers take in producing food. At the show he’ll be taking to the stage to discuss his career on-screen, and why it’s important for customers to understand where their weekly shop comes from. We asked him whether consumers are prioritising provenance and how it is best to communicate this, here’s what he told us: “I believe there is a growing section of society who are becoming more conscious about sourcing their food carefully, with provenance and ethical production systems being a priority.  There is therefore a great opportunity for producers to communicate about their farms and use the Happerley traceability system to enhance the trust and confidence in their produce.   As the demand for provenance has grown food retailers and food service outlets are already using this as a positive selling point.  Having trust and confidence in what we consume is very important, so a robust traceability system is essential to avoid confusing and sometimes misleading labels.”

 

Paul Hargreaves - Chief Executive of Cotswold Fayre

Paul Hargreaves is a well-known character within the speciality food world both for his insightful views on the sector, independent retailing, and general business “know how”. Paul’s brilliant blog “Speciality Bites” is widely read by retailers and producers alike. During the show he’ll be talking about speciality producers supporting independent retailers. We asked him for a brief overview of some of the themes he’ll be going into, here’s what he told us:

“Pricing strategy is just one of the difficult tightropes that start-up and more established speciality food brands need to walk as they struggle to grow their businesses.  In my talk at the Farm Shop and Deli Show I will develop this theme further together with several more as I try to help small brands establish themselves in an increasingly crowded market.  In 2016, there were, according to government figures, an estimated 660,000 start-up businesses.  An estimated 15% (99,000) of these were in the food and drink sector.  Probably 50% of these are no longer trading.  You will reduce the chance of being one of these casualties by coming to my talk at the show.  One of the joys of coming to the show is to see the many new brands exhibiting – at Cotswold Fayre we are very keen to help some of these new brands succeed.”

Don’t miss these speakers and many more exciting names live on stage at The Farm Shop and Deli Show.