The Humber region’s £1bn food industry is to be showcased to members of the Bondholders marketing organisation at a venue pioneering agriculture and food production technology.
The next Bondholders breakfast meeting, on Friday, November 15, will recognise the contribution to the economy of the region and UK Plc of the food production and processing sector, which accounts for more than 500 companies, employing over 28,000 people.
The Bondholders event is being held at Bishop Burton College, where work is under way on a new £3.5m Technology and Skills Centre. The development will be home to the Northern Technology Centre for Agrii, an organisation which delivers unrivalled expertise and support for sustainable and profitable farming and food production in the UK.
The event will focus on the diversity of the region’s food producers, hearing from Nicholas Oughtred, Chairman of Hull-based William Jackson Food Group; Nick Stafford, the incoming Chair of deliciouslyorkshire (CORRECT), which promotes the region’s produce; Justin Staal, of the award-winning Staal Smokehouse, in Long Riston, near Beverley; and UK Trade & Investment Food and Drink Sector Specialist Steve Noblett.
Bondholder businesses will hear about a wide range of opportunities and initiatives for companies within, and connected, to food and drink production.
The event is sponsored by William Jackson Food Group and AarhusKarlshamn (AAK), the world’s leading manufacturer of high value-added specialty vegetable fats. AAK operates the country’s largest edible oil refinery in Hull.
Family-owned William Jackson Food Group, whose Hull-based businesses include Jackson’s Bakery and Aunt Bessie’s, is a mainstay of the region’s food industry. Founded in 1851 when Mr Oughtred’s great-great grandfather William Jackson opened a grocery store in Hull, the company now employs more than 2,000 people across the UK, including 700 in Hull.
Jackson’s Bakery recently launched its Yorkshire Champion bread and makes bread for the UK sandwich market as well as exporting loaves all over the world. Aunt Bessie’s is one of the fastest-growing food brands in the UK, with up to 20 million Yorkshire puddings leaving Hull each week.
Mr Oughtred said: “We’re proud that our products, made in Hull, are enjoyed around the country and the world and that we play such a prominent part in a thriving food industry in the Humber region. We should celebrate the contribution food production and processing in this area makes to both the local and national economy.”
deliciouslyorkshire is a non-profit organisation providing support and promotion for food and drink businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Membership, Marketing and Media Manager Jo Satariano said: “Deliciouslyorkshire is committed to promoting and supporting food and drink businesses across the entire Yorkshire region and we’re hugely aware of the significant part the Humber region plays in Yorkshire’s food industry.
“The Humber region plays a huge role in Yorkshire’s food manufacturing industry, particularly its successful fish and seafood industry. Agriculture is also thriving in East Yorkshire and the Humber which can be seen in the number of rapeseed oil producers and brewers using East Yorkshire’s crops in their top-quality products.”
Bishop Burton College is investing in new facilities, such as the Technology and Skills Centre, in recognition of developments in agriculture and food production that make farming more than ever a science, requiring precision technology.
College Principal Jeanette Dawson OBE said of the partnership with Agrii: “Beyond hosting such a high-profile partner, we will gain tremendously from our students’ exposure to, and involvement with, the very latest in agronomic science and technology development.
“This will reinforce their understanding of the way the practical skills they’re learning fit into the much bigger picture of ensuring food production meets the major challenges of the future. In turn, it will help prepare them for an active role in helping drive forward the improvements in crop yield, quality and profitability that are vital.”
After the event, Bondholders will have the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the campus, including the college’s commercial farm, animal management units and equine arena.
The Bondholders breakfast follows production by the Bondholders of a Humber Food Map, illustrating the scale and significance of the industry, as part of its support for the recent Humber Seafood Summit. 2,000 copies of the map have been distributed by organisations such as the Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) conference team, while the UK Trade & Investment used the maps at a food and drink conference in Cologne, Germany.
Bondholders Chair Peter Aarosin: “The food and drinks industry is a hugely important part of the economy in the Humber region. This event will help to raise the profile of the sector and set out opportunities for businesses within it to grow and thrive.”
*Arrival for the breakfast meeting is from 7.45am for a 8.15am start. The event will close at 9.30am, with site tours available afterwards. Bondholders members can register to attend by e-mailing email@example.com*