Mark Nisbett

Written by: Mark Nisbett

Mark Nisbett


RSM launches the Food and Drink Manufacturers' Forum in London

  • February 2019
  • 3 minutes

RSM’s manufacturing team in London hosted our first Food and Drink Manufacturers Forum, attended by owners, CEO’s and senior finance professionals from 30 companies in the sector.

It was a great evening and the feedback has been very positive, with everyone praising the venue, attendees, range of conversations, connections they made, and most of all having really enjoyed the night.

This forum creates an opportunity for industry representatives to network with their peers, share experiences and hear from chosen experts, whilst visiting interesting venues who have a story to tell about their business. 

For our inaugural event we were delighted that Neal’s Yard Dairy agreed to host us, and they were fantastic hosts. From the updates on their business and how they’re approaching Brexit, the enthusiasm that CEO David Lockwood put into each of the tours of the facility, to the general hospitality and of course the amazing cheese. We couldn't have asked for more.

Neals yard fridges

How food and drink manufacturers are preparing for Brexit

As a client we are currently supporting Neal’s Yard Dairy with their Brexit preparations, and naturally Brexit was a hot topic on the evening for everyone from the large multinationals to young start-ups who were there.

Many agreed that a no deal Brexit would lead to additional costs for their business, with some interesting insights on World Trade Organisation tariffs being shared. Regarding Brexit, the general theme was that businesses would work through whatever is in front of them. There was a good degree of optimism about opportunities arising for those businesses who have made sure they are financially secure to deal with any short term hits, and nimble enough to take advantage.

Other topics discussed on the night:

  • The rise in demand for healthy food and ‘free from’ products. Whether it be lactose free, activated, ‘live’ or non-alcoholic beverages, guests were seeing a continuing increase in demand for products that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Growth in on-line purchases and getting products to consumers by delivery or innovative collection locations.
  • Wider international trade and expansion opportunities for British brands.
  • Shared experiences on scaling-up for growth.
  • How to prep a business looking for finance or investment.
  • Investment opportunities; from new facilities and where to locate them, to M&A.
  • Lots of conversations about the amazing Neal’s Yards facility, how they have used innovation to ensure quality of their produce as well as keeping a flexible and happy workforce.

Feedback from the event

We were delighted to host RSM’s newly established Food and Drink Manufacturers’ Forum. We are proud of what we have achieved here at Neal’s Yard Dairy and so were happy to share our experiences with established and emerging food and drink producers

Jon Tasch
Director, Neal’s Yard Dairy

A great opportunity to meet industry professionals, in a ‘delicious’ setting with some tasty nibbles

Asher Budwig 
Managing Director, Lola's Cupcakes

RSM have created something really fantastic with their Food and Drink Manufacturers' Forum. I’ve been to a lot of industry events but this one took me by surprise - really relaxed, informative and engaging. I’d encourage anyone who wants to engage with peers and learn some new things to attend

Dianne Skurray
Founder and Director, Aqua Esse Ltd 

In terms of the event, it was a useful way to connect to people in the food manufacturing industry, many of whom we don’t work with at the moment. I am sure a lot of the people I met will soon be valuable business relationships. 

Rayan Sheikh
Head of Sourcing External Clients & SES, Foodbuy

About the author

Mark, as head of the manufacturing sector in London provides proactive support to manufacturers and can make introductions to specialists in RSM’s 43 service lines.

We’re currently talking to a number of venues about hosting the next event in Summer 2019. If you’re interested in being a future venue host or would like to register your interest in attending, we would delighted to hear from you.

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