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Innovation and Investment Tops Agenda at Food and Drink Wales Industry Board Conference

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Ambitious food and drink producers from all over Wales are being urged to attend a conference exploring innovation and supporting funding opportunities, in a bid to drive growth within the industry.

Organised by the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board and hosted by BBC Wales economics correspondent, Sarah Dickins, the Food Innovation and Investment for Growth Conference takes place on 2 November at the Marriott Hotel, Cardiff, and aims to provide businesses with invaluable information on innovation and the array of funding and investment options available to them. Furthermore, the event also offers a unique opportunity for food and drink producers to pre-book one to one meetings with fund providers and investors.

Keynote speakers on the day include Helen Munday, Chief Science Officer at the Food and Drink Federation; Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of Finance Wales; and Rob Ward from Grocery Accelerator. Also in attendance will be representatives from Innovate UK, Business Growth Fund, Kantar, Knowledge Transfer Network, along with a host of high street banks and other financial experts.

The Food and Drink Industry Board was established earlier this year in order to help grow, promote and enhance the Welsh food and drink industry as it strives to achieve the Welsh Government target of 30% growth by the year 2020.

Andy Richardson, Chair of the board and Head of Corporate Affairs for Volac, was eager to highlight the event’s importance to the industry:

“We undoubtedly need more innovation and investment in the industry and the board is seeking to address this by proactively engaging with innovation and financial experts and encouraging as many investment opportunities as possible. Innovation will be at the core of our future success, with financial support and investment being key to ensuring Wales continues to remain relevant and competitive on the global stage. I would urge anybody who wishes to grow their food or drinks business to come along and see what options are available to them.”

Also attending the event will be Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths:

“It is clear Wales is a nation of great food and drink producers, and in order to build on the sector’s successes it is important investment is used to drive further innovation and growth. This event will de-mystify some of the financial aspects of developing food and drink businesses, ensuring producers have the freedom to create, innovate and push boundaries with their products.”

The Food Innovation and Investment for Growth conference comes only a day after a Great Taste Celebration event held in Cardiff Bay, which will showcase some of the recent successes of Welsh food and drink producers at this year’s Great Taste Awards.

Those who are interested in attending the conference should email [email protected] for further information.