Focussed training and expertise aimed at helping North East food and drink businesses bounce back from the effects of COVID-19.

The Speaking From Experience sessions running from 6th May 2021 until 10th June 2021 are fully funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Cohort 1: Thursday 6th May 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Identifying The Opportunity

1. Scanning The Current Horizon

Nichola Reeder, Facilitator: A top-line overview of the Food & Drink Sector in the UK as we emerge from the pandemic.

2. Beyond Now – Future Impacts
Karen Green, The Food Mentor: An in-depth look at how consumer behaviour has changed and what this means for the future of food and drink.
3. Broadening Your Appeal

Andy Skowronski of A&C Associates, International Industry Advisor and Trainer: Understanding where, why and what people are eating and what that means for planning an effective channel strategy.

4. SME Operational Toolkit 
Nicola Reeder, Facilitator & Ian Pilkington, Business Consultant: an overview of the key tools, templates and forms any small business needs to survive and how they’ll be introduced to delegates over the course of the programme.

Cohort 1: Thursday 13th May 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Risk & Resource

People are one of the largest investments in any business. How has the current situation affected your team and do you have a clear plan of action to manage any fall out.

 1. People Management in a Time of Change

Jayne Hart, The HR Department: a practical overview of the key HR considerations in a Covid-19 world and advice on how to tackle them.

2. Identifying & Minimising Risk
Andrew Williams AQCT: understanding how to identify and more importantly mitigate risk in your business.

3. Courage in a Crisis: Adapting To & Benefitting From Change

Speaker TBC: a case study from a North East Business on how to adapt to change, and thrive through a crisis.

Cohort 1: Thursday 20th May 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Planning with purpose

Where do you want your business to be in the short, medium and longterm? How can a clear plan help you get there?

1. Building Business Resilience

Ian Pilkington, Business Coach, i2i Consultants: What is resilience and how do you lay the foundations for a solid business.

2. Agility and Adapting to Change
Des Kennedy, Managing Director, Infinite Design: Why change is good for your business and how to meet it head on.

3. Resilience on the Region

Chris Jewitt, Chief Executive, Food and Drink North East: How the North East food and drink sector rallied in the face of Covid-19.

Cohort 1: Thursday 27th May 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Money Matters

Do you have a grasp of your business finances? Is it the right time to invest and if so, how and where?

1. Forecasting Your Finances

Harlands Accountants: why forecasting matters and how to start.

2. Building Margin Chain
Harlands Accountants: understanding your bottom line profits.

3. Costing Workshop

Ian Pilkington, Business Coach, i2i Consultants: how to work out what to charge and still make money.

4. Powerful Profits
Harlands Accountants: how to maximise your returns.

5. Funding Potential

Harlands Accountants: where to go and how to find the ideal funding partner to help your business grow.

Cohort 1: Thursday 3rd June 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Selling Your Sizzle

In order to succeed your business must have have a well managed online presence. But how can you get the best from paid, owned and earned channels?.

1. Brand Building & Why it Matters

Steve Wheaton Managing Director, Enspire: using a raft of successful case studies learn how to drive high impact branding that aligns to your values.

2. Customer & Consumer Connectivity: On and Off Line Marketing Strategy
Des Kennedy, CEO, Definitive: understand how to reach your audience and influence them to act – whether that’s via press, digital, social or any other tactic! 
3. Persuasive Propositions: Knowing Your Value

Speaker TBC: learn how to ensure your propositions are as powerful as possible whether for a customer, buyer, funder or journalist.

Cohort 1: Thursday 10th June 2021, 9.30am-12.30pm


Pulling It All Together

1. Strategizing Sales Channels: Retail, Hospitality, DTC, Export

Nichola Reeder & Panel: explore the different channels open to food and drink producers in order to plan your strategic channel opportunities. 

2. Inside the Buyer Psyche
Camilla Pickles, The Buyers Mindset: get inside the head of a retail buyer to understand what they need to hear to make your pitch successful
3. What Next for Your Business?

Delegates: As we reach the end of the programme we’ll reflect on everything you’ve learnt and pinpoint the top 3 priorities for your business success.

Get in touch

Food and Drink North East
The Beacon
Westgate Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE4 9PQ 


About us

Food and Drink North East is a community interest company (CIC). We aim to build a vibrant and engaged community that champions positive trade, promotes a sustainable circular economy and acts as a collective and inclusive voice for the region’s food and drink sector. Focussed on four strategic areas, our objective is to grow the sector’s contribution to the regional economy to 10% gross added value (GVA) by 2025.

Let’s get social

Follow us on social platforms or tag us in all #northeast #foodanddrink related posts.