A new support programme is available for food and drink businesses in Leicestershire to combat the economic impact of Covid-19.
They'll support the sector after a recent survey of local food and drink businesses identified a number of specific challenges and hardship caused by the pandemic.
Leicestershire’s food and drink manufacturing sector is already known for its nationally and internationally recognised brands such as Samworth Brothers, Cofresh Snack Foods, Walkers Crisps, Long Clawson, Belvoir Fruit Farms and Pukka Pies.
The county also has a solid base of small and medium-sized food and drink enterprises such as Harrisons Sauces, Royal Tea, Just Egg and FGS Ingredients.
Some businesses in the sector have been able to adapt quickly to the problems caused by Covid-19 through effective business planning, finding new product areas and securing new customers.
But many have been adversely affected and are at risk of closing or have been unable to respond to trading under Covid-19 restrictions.
With business support from the Business Gateway, it is hoped many of these businesses at risk can turn things around, adapt to the new normal and prepare for the future.
To help businesses in the food and drink sector the Business Gateway is launching a programme of free, one-hour, sector-specific webinars to be delivered by the Food and Drink Forum.
Topics will include supply chain development, product development and adaption, regulatory compliance, selling and routes to market as well as understanding emerging trends.
Growth Hub Manager, Jon Egley said: “Like everywhere, businesses in Leicestershire have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and the food and drink sector is no different.
"I’m very pleased to be working with the Food and Drink Forum which has a fantastic team of experts who speak the language of this sector and who will share their knowledge to enable businesses to recover and come back fighting.”
Andrew Collinson, Commercial Manager at the Food and Drink Forum added: “It has been a difficult few months for the food and drink businesses within our network, but it has been fantastic to see so many of them starting to get back to full production and diversifying their offering.
“We have developed this programme of webinars based on feedback received from the sector and we feel the broad range of topics will give businesses the tools they need not only to bounce back but to expand their product ranges, access new markets and develop new skills.”
The full webinar programme with booking details can be seen at the Business Gateway website.
The webinar series kicks off on September 17 with Finding Sales Leads for Food and Drink Products.