Food experts hunt for butchers

An East Midlands-wide support organisation for food and drink firms has launched a recruitment drive for more butcher members.

The Food and Drink Forum, which has been supporting companies in the sector across the East Midlands for almost 12 years, is hoping to encourage more butchers from the region to get involved and take advantage of the support it offers.

It said membership gives firms access to a range of benefits, including discounted manufacturing, food technical and accreditation consultancy, a range of Forum-produced publications covering food and drink sector news and the latest market intelligence reports, access to ten free quick queries per year (get questions answered by the Forum’s experts), discounts on attendance at any of the organisation’s events and training courses, plus access to a range of sales opportunities co-ordinated by regional food group East Midlands Fine Foods.

Several butchers across the region are already members of the Food and Drink Forum, but the organisation is hoping to raise awareness of the support that membership can bring and encourage more to take advantage of its services.

“The East Midlands has many fine butchers, and The Food and Drink Forum would really like to offer support to as many of them as we can,” said Food and Drink Forum managing director Fiona Anderson.

“Because we’re experts in our field, we know the challenges that food and drink firms face and we are able to offer relevant and tailored support. Membership costs from as little as £50 a year for start-ups.”

Sue French, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield-based butcher E A Bird & Sons, said: “E A Bird & Sons has been a member of the Food & Drink Forum for the last three years. During this time we have had invaluable help to source information on a range of subjects. However, many small businesses have a problem with tunnel vision and we are no exception. The Forum gives you the opportunity to widen your view to see what opportunities are out there and, in particular, what more you can do to help yourself from within your company. Membership has definitely helped our company.”

The Food and Drink Forum has around 150 members across Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire, who work across the food and drink sector. Members include producers and manufacturers, retailers, caterers and others linked to the industry.