Fiona Kendrick, Nestlé

Nestlé’s Fiona Kendrick is supporting the centre

Dozens of food and drink manufacturers have attended the launch of the UK’s first National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, in Sheffield.

More than 100 companies, academics and engineering professionals attended the event last week to herald the start of what is earmarked to become a “world class” centre for research and training.

The centre will provide engineering solutions through industry-led collaborative projects, including areas such as energy and waste efficiencies.

“The new Centre of Excellence is a standout example of how manufacturers, government and academics can collaborate to bridge the food industry’s research gap,” said Melanie Leech, director general at the Food and Drink Federation.

“We have been delighted by the level of support we have received and by the commitment by food and drink manufacturers so far.”

George Eustice MP, minister for food and farming, added: “This is an excellent initiative which will keep the UK food and drink industry at the forefront of innovation. The new centre will provide well trained and highly skilled staff to ensure the industry maintains and enhances its competitive position in global food manufacturing.”

Also at the event, Justine Fosh, CEO of Improve and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, said: “We see the creation of the centre as a breakthrough moment for the food manufacturing sector as a whole.”