Who&'s in the team?
FFB&'s client development team is headed by Jane Wakeling who joined six months ago from Sainsbury where she was a regional food and drink manager and dairy buyer. She has years of experience in the export and regional trading of food and drink, and has also worked as a regional buyer for Booker. She heads a team of four, all of whom are account managers and are regionally based. John Whitehead looks after Scotland and Northern Ireland, Elsie Fairbanks controls the north west and east, Richard Sainter runs the Midlands and north and east London, while Sarah Hodgen&'s patches are the south west and east and the south and west of London. The team is backed by Tracy George.
What are they currently working on?
FFB is the market development consultancy for British food and drink producers. The client development team work tirelessly to develop exports of British produce and regional food and drink products, and bring new products into business. "We may be in different parts of the country but are all doing the same thing on a day-to-day basis - working with producers to help grow their export opportunities," says Wakeling. The team have also just set up a fast-track advisory group.
What are the team&'s plans for 2006 and beyond?
The team are about to set off on an Irish trade development visit. Twenty producers will be going on the visit "but we have been careful that it does not clash with the World Cup," laughs Wakeling.
How does the team work together?
The team come together once a month at FFB&'s offices in London. However, Wakeling says that thanks to the miracles of modern technology and the internet, it is as though they are always in the same room. "All four have something unique in their experience and really add to the team and what we can do to help our customers," she says. John Whitehead has 30 years of experience in Scottish exports, Elsie Fairbanks has a background in sugar, chocolate and frozen foods, Richard Sainter recently joined the company after 20 years of working for Heinz, and Sarah Hodgen has worked with the Home Grown Cereals Authority.