Independent Food & Drink Academy

IFDA Launch Event

The Independent Food & Drink Academy has official launched this week at the Belgrave in Leeds, the academy which is a joint venture between Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council and Leeds Bid is designed to provide a unique service to small independent food enterprises from street food traders through to established small businesses.

The academy will offer advice, support and training to help businesses grow in this dynamic sector. Developed and delivered by industry experts, the academy objective is to help to professionalise, sustain and grow the independent food and drink sector in the Leeds region by providing a blend of contextualised learning & development opportunities.

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The launch event brought together a mixture of people looking to get into the indie food and drink industry and a number of experienced business owners who were on hand to offer their knowledge and experience.

There were some industry experts on hand to advise about the industry trends, business growth, business finance, understanding customers and communications.  This included the likes of Tony Naylor (The Guardian), Peter Martin (CGA Peach) and Bob Fox (NCASS).

IFDA Launch (Start-Up Business) – Day 1

The event started with an introduction to the Independent Food & Drink Academy by Guy Lincoln (Leeds Beckett University) and Sue Burgess (Leeds City Council).  The academy is designed to bring together a fantastic network of people from the industry to share their knowledge and experience of the food and drink industry.

The academy will provide members with information and assistance via a number of courses and workshops as part of the membership.  It will also provide a single point of contact within the council, so that you can ask questions and advice about street trading, food markets and health certificates.

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Tony Naylor (The Guardian) was the first expert to take to the stage for a Q & A session, he was giving answers to questions for indie food trends, environment scanning and how to understanding food business environments.

After lunch there were two sessions about understand legal compliance when setting up a new food business. The sessions which were run by Sue Burgess (Leeds City Council) and Bob Fox (NCASS) and they focused on safe trading, legislation compliance and staff training and management.

The final Q & A session of the day was from finance expert Helen Roberts (Winburn Glass Norfolk), Helen gave advise and answered questions on financial planning and budgeting, profit margins and basic VAT.

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IFDA Launch (Grow Your Business) – Day 2

The second day followed the same process as the first, however it was more focused on current street traders and established small businesses.  The day again started with an introduction to the Independent Food & Drink Academy by Guy Lincoln and Sue Burgess.

Peter Martin (CGA Peach) was the first expert to take to the stage for a Q & A session, he again focused on indie food trends, environment scanning and how to understanding food business environments.

However, as this was for established businesses the information and reports were more detailed reports into current trends about customers requirements (food types) and also what type of food & drink businesses are currently growing and closing down.

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The afternoon session was twelve round the table discussion groups focused on business growth, sharing best practice and financial funding leading to business growth.  There were a number experts and business owners that lead these discussions including:-

  1. Steve Baker (High Growth Business Advisor)
  2. Fergus McKie (Business Enterprise Advisor)
  3. Martin Avison (Financial Pulse)
  4. Peter Ahye (Hexagon Consulting)
  5. Scott Munro (Red’s True Barbecue)
  6. Russell Bissett (Northern Monk Brewery)
  7. Christian Townsley & John Gyngell (North Bar Group)
  8. Martin Wolstencroft (ARC Inspiration)
  9. David Stache (Nourish)
  10. Lorna Blackett (Nat West Bank)
  11. Mark Dale (Circus of Food)
  12. Matt Dix & Simon Fogal (Leeds Indie Food)

The two day launch event was a great success and the Independent Food & Drink Academy will continue to move forward with even more events planned over the coming months, including more networking, training and cooking demonstrations.

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