Conference and Trade Show

Conference and Trade Show

During the conference day you will find four different areas for you to explore:

  • The main conference room with the headline speakers will be running from 9.30 am in the morning until 5.00 pm.
  • The trade show room, where you can catch up with the trade partners or get involved with one of our competitions and demonstrations, will be open between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm.
  • The farmers' market workshop room will be running a full day's programme of speakers.
  • The FARMA shop managers' workshop will feature two extended CPD workshops: merchandising in the morning and shop floor HR issues in the afternoon.

Below we have set out the speakers and activities within each of the sessions. 

A PDF of the full conference programme can be downloaded here.

Headline Speakers

Consumers and staff of the future:

Do you understand how your customers and staff will be thinking? Can you adapt to their needs?

Dr Paul Redmond

Author, keynote speaker and employment guru, Paul is a leading expert on generations and the graduate labour market. He will blow apart the ideas and understanding we have regarding how to manage and recruit staff when it comes to Millennials and Generation Ys.

Nikhil Acharya

Nikhil from Inkling Communications is the creative brain behind the Inkling reports which have dissected many of the consumer groups. He will discuss the idea that the Millennials are the food generation while the Generation Xs are not to be forgotten.

Melodie Tyrer

Melodie is a Sustainable Food Expert, Food Writer, Food Stylist and Head Honcho of Farm to Face UK. She has a deep-seated passion for the environment and its ongoing protection, a devotion that, unlike other skills, cannot be learnt. “I created Farm to Face as a way to voice my passion for the environment through food, photography, and the written word.” A foodie millennial.

Food systems changing around consumers

The UK food system is changing and the session will explore some early structural changes and how they affect consumer and retailers.

Professor Tim Lang

Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy. He was a hill farmer in Lancashire in the 1970s. This formed his interest in the role of policy shaping the relationship between food, health, the environment, justice and culture. Professor Lang will look at the structural changes looming for the food system, which will affect dynamics and roles, and how this will affect UK consumers.

Clare McDermott

Business Development Director at the Soil Association, Clare has extensive experience in food marketing and research and has recently led on a consumer research project for the Soil Association. This report looks at how consumer trends are changing and what this means to the food retail sector.

Businesses are changing for consumers

This session will include three of the country's leading local food retailers, all completely different sizes, scales and approaches, discussing how the businesses are going to adapt over the coming years. After initial presentations our chair, Suzie Emmett, will run an open floor discussion with these business leaders.

Guy Watson

Riverford Organics, farmer, founder and creator of Britain's largest supplier of organic produce through the mechanism of the 'organic box' scheme. Guy will be presenting a view of how he sees the future of farm retailing in the years ahead.

Sarah Dunning

Sarah of Westmorland Limited sees herself as the champion of the business' values, ensuring that they are the compass for everything the business undertakes. She loves food and constantly strives to strengthen the business' approach through its home-made food and its relationship with its many artisan and local producers. Sarah will explore how the family's businesses, including Tebay Services and Gloucester Services, are held in such high esteem by customers and the sector.

Charlie Turbull

With the ambition of having the best cheese counter in Dorset – maybe even in the UK - Shaftesbury High Street was not the choice, the shop was simply the best premises someone would let him have.

He judges cheese in the UK and around the world; for Nantwich, Taste of the West, The Great Taste Awards, Bath & West Show and the World Cheese Awards, even occasionally for the French at the Concours Generale Agricole. More locally, he organises the annual Shaftesbury Food & Drink Festival, which attracts over 6,000 visitors to the town in just one day, and is the creator of the Gold Hill Cheese Run. His Gorgonzola Appreciation Society has 1,000 followers and offers seasonal events especially for cheese lovers. He most recently became a P&O food hero as well as founding a new business, ClicBox, which offers online DeliShops to real world independent food retailers.

Personal leadership through change

Paul McGee

The SUMO Guy: If dealing with change, developing resilience, increasing employee engagement, inspiring others and building better relationships is crucial to your organisation’s success, then Paul will leave you with not only the skills but the energy to get up and make things happen.

Farm Shop - Managers' Workshops

In-depth workshops designed to improve the shop floor management team and department leads. These are longer workshops designed to provide more take-home actions than a conference presentation.

Product selecting and merchandising: Guild of Fine Food: The importance of in-store merchandising and how it can help increase sales. Merchandising your cheese/charcuterie counter – hot spots, labelling, creating interest and sales flow. Displaying ambient products using crates, shelving schemes, table tops and dressers.

Dr Paul Redmond: Building on the headline presentation, Paul will look at some of the practical tactics that can be used on the shop floor to motive younger staff.

HR Issues on the Shop Floor: The HR Dept: The workshop will provide shop floor managers with an insight in how to manage some of the key HR issues experienced at every farm shop. Issues such as excessive sick leave, leadership, building a team and helping the senior team to avoid costly HR issues.

Farmers' Market Workshop

These workshops will be in a dedicated room and will be delivered in a more conversational style.

Introduction to the new Certification Scheme with Janet Harrison and NSF: Interactive workshop focusing on the new certification scheme and how it can be implemented at your farmers' market.

Open Food Network: How can farmers' markets increase sales through the adoption of online sales. Delivered in partnership with Kent Farmers Markets.

Dr Paul Redmond: Can farmers' markets communicate with younger consumers? Paul will look at some of the communication tools used by this audience which markets should be adopting.

Street food, night markets and how would you improve Bristol's Farmers Market: Lorna Knapman of Love Food Markets will lead a workshop on her experiences in street food markets and establishing night markets. Lorna will explore the challenge of making the markets provide a real atmosphere for the modern day consumer.

Trade Show and Demonstrations

Over 25 trade partners: Each dedicated to the farm retail sector to provide you with the contacts and support you need in the challenges ahead. Stands include: Open Retail Solutions, Bushel Box, Field Fare, Pipers Crisps, Tomato Stall, Bon Bons, CSY, WJPKG, Data Strategy Consulting and LCCS.

The AHDB Butchery Competition: The third year of the competition will see competitors from across the UK compete to be crowned the best on-farm butcher of the year. Rules agreed with AHDB. Eight pre-booked spaces available.

Merchandising Competition: Run in partnership with the Guild of Fine Food the competition sees four contestants create a merchandising display with a set of produce which will be judged.

Taste of Game Demonstration Kitchen: They will present game meat dishes that can be used within the farm shop or on a market stall to encourage more businesses to incorporate game in their business and on their menus. A chef will show how to cook the dishes and business owners and chefs can get involved by cooking alongside him. The dishes will come with full costing so the business can see the achievable profit.

Trade Show and Sponsorship Information