Business experts from the worlds of supply, retail, finance and distribution will be offering advice in a series of workshops at this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Show.

A regular highlight of the show, the Dragons’ Pantry pitching event, has been expanded to include a series of sessions in which the ‘dragons’ will tackle the topics most relevant to growing a food and drink business.

Among the issues being addressed are recruitment, working with wholesalers, supplying airlines and securing funding. See below for a full list of the sessions, which take place from Monday 25 April to Wednesday 27 April at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC, Birmingham.

These free workshops are available on a first-come first-served basis on the day, although attendees can pre-register by email.

The Farm Shop & Deli Show is part of the The UK Food & Drink Shows. Uniting four shows under one roof, the event covers the complete supply chain in three days of insight, innovation and inspiration, with the content of each show tailored to meet the requirements of its respective audience.

Monday 25 April

What’s next for free-from?

Now free-from is firmly mainstream, what’s next for the category? The founders of two forward-looking brands – one all-vegan and the other free from all 14 allergens – share their thoughts on the future.

  • Richard Fox, co-founder and chef, Jampa’s
  • Geeta Salhan, owner, Green Sister
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions

Are you wholesaler-ready?

If wholesalers come calling, is your brand ready to seize the opportunity? This session takes a 360-degree view of maximising this two-way relationship, from margins, marketing support and planning.

  • Ellie Gunn, chilled buyer, Cotswold Fayre & Flourish
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions
  • Laura Strapp, head of buying, Cotswold Fayre and Flourish

No planet B: how B Corps are transforming business

It’s time for businesses to look beyond profit to secure the future of the planet. That’s where B Corps come in – a new way to put people and environment first. This session gives attendees an opportunity to discover the potential benefits.

  • Paul Hargreaves, CEO, Cotswold Fayre and Flourish

Tuesday 26 April

Fly with us: enter the aviation channel

Learn what it takes to successfully supply to the aviation channel. It’s often misunderstood, but provides a runway to huge sales, advanced engagement and brand-building potential. Hear from the experts on how to get the best chance to succeed.

  • Zoe Farmer, global director retail management, Gate Group
  • Heerum Fleary, procurement partner, TickEat Ltd
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions

Your carbon footprint: more than a number

Increasingly eco-aware consumers are demanding food and drink brands be fully transparent about how they’re making a difference. Carbon footprint is a great place to start the conversation – so come and hear about a new tool to help you measure it effectively.

  • Anya Doherty, founder and CEO, Foodsteps
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions

Retain people, increase profits: staff care, happiness and retention

With increased competition, and recruitment and training costs soaring, retaining staff has never been more important. Get the best-in-sector practice on how to keep your talent, whether you’re operating in production, retail or hospitality.

  • Iain Hemming, Thyme and Tides
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions

Wednesday 27 April

Ready to scale your sales?

Ready to shift your sales from in-house to a professional sales and marketing company? It can be a big step, so be prepared with advice on getting the best results with some key sales tips along the way.

  • Danny Abello, director, restaurant chain
  • Andrew Coulson, co-founder/owner, Cognosco
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions

Funding your success

Businesses are cash-hungry and growth is expensive to fund. So how do you secure the funding you need to succeed? The session will offer advice on how to prepare for a funding round and unlock the finances to fuel your success.

  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions
  • Karolina Pioro, investment banking associate, Stamford Partners

Word perfect: effective comms for brands and retailers

Words make brands. And when twinned with the right comms, they have the power to convert consumers into loyal fans across a wealth of different channels. Karen Fewell helps some of the biggest brands on the planet achieve maximum engagement – come and get some tips on how you can do the same.

  • Karen Fewell, founder, Digital Blonde
  • Simon Hurley, managing director, P2P Food Solutions


Are you a specialist retailer looking to source the best quality local and regional produce? Visit the Farm Shop & Deli Show 2022 to find trend-setting food and drink from hundreds of British suppliers, plus the latest technology and industry insight. Register now for free