FDF Event  20% discount for FDF Members

FDF Convention 2019


FDF Member £300.00 (Saving £75)

Non Member £375.00

All prices exclude VAT.


FDF Convention 2019

The FDF Convention is the place to be to hear about the big issues affecting our industry. Brexit; retailer consolidation; regulation and packaging have consistently topped the polls of the issues that our sector sees as opportunities or threats.  

Chairing the event this year is food and drink industry journalist, Mike Stones.

Join us and hear about the industry's big issues!

Introduction to morning session from James Schofield , Managing Director, Global Head of Food, Drink and Leisure, Lloyds Banking Group.
Keynote speaker: Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defra.

Topics covered

Brexit Outcomes

Now that the UK has been granted an extension to the Article 50 process, delivering a deal negotiated with the EU remains the government's top priority. But what are the possible Brexit outcomes that UK trade will face? How will the government ensure the UK remains a leading destination for international investment and maintains its number one position for international investment stock in Europe? Will the UK be able to open markets and build a trade framework with new and existing partners which is free and fair? What will happen in the event of a 'no-deal'?

Minister for Investment Graham Stuart MP will deliver a keynote speech focussing on the potential Brexit outcomes and what it means to the Food and Drink industry. This will then be followed by a panel with representatives from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland discussing the future of 'Brand UK' and its international standing.

Key Speakers:

Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment

Selling Brand UK

United Kingdom products are highly valued across the world and a growth opportunity, but inevitably there are challenges. With the increased pressure from Brexit, we look at how to sell “Brand UK” in a post-Brexit world.

Key speakers:

John Mahon, Director General for Exports, Department of International Trade

Peter Kendall, Chairman of Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board

James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink

Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food & Drink

Wayne Mills, Manager Director, Trade and Working Capital, Large Corporates, Lloyds Banking Group

Keith Smyton, Deputy Director of the Food and Drink Division, Welsh Government

Plastics & Packaging

Plastics and packaging is one of the biggest issues affecting the food and drink industry. After relying on plastics for many years, we are now more conscious of the environmental impacts. Many manufacturers are doing ground-breaking work to find alternatives, but how can we be sure that we also maintain food safety and minimise food waste? Join our expert speakers to find out more.

Key Speakers:

Stefano Agostini, CEO, Nestlé UK and Chair, FDF Plastics and Packaging Task Force

Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP

The Future Shape of Grocery

There has been unprecedented change in purchasing behaviour, driven by technology, trends and new entrants to the market. How does this affect suppliers and what could the recent mergers and joint ventures between competing grocery retailers and their wholesalers mean?

Key speakers:

Andrew Taylor, Aldwych Partners

Glenn Hall Partner, Co-Head Government Relations & Public Policy Solicitor, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Adam Leyland, Editor, The Grocer Magazine

Changing Consumer Food Trends and How it Affects the Grocery Industry

Consumer food trends are ever changing, influenced by the impact of technology and increased consumer awareness of the food and drink they consume.

Key speakers:

Ben Morrison, Head of Commercial Division, Grocery, Nielsen

Rose Price, Head of Buying, Ocado

Tanya Michelsen, Associate Director, YouthSight

Co-Headline Sponsor

Lloyds Bank   Lloyds Bank

Media Partner

New Food

Speaker information

Graham Stuart MP - Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment

Graham Stuart was elected Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness in 2005 and more recently, appointed Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade.

Graham started his publishing business while still at Cambridge University. He was later elected to Cambridge City Council, where he eventually led the Conservative Group.

Graham's Parliamentary career has seen him serve as Chair of the Education Select Committee (2010-15) and as a Government Whip with responsibility for the Department of Health, and later for HM Treasury and the Ministry of Defence. In his role as Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade Graham focuses on encouraging foreign investment into the UK economy and promoting overseas investment opportunities to British companies.

Andrew Taylor Partner at Aldwych Partners and advisor on competition and mergers

Andrew provides strategic advice on securing merger clearance and managing competition investigations. He plays a hands on role in delivering merger analysis, drafting submissions and helping clients present their case.

Prior to founding Aldwych Partners, Andrew was Senior Director, Inquiries at the UK Competition Commission and was also Director of the NHS Cooperation and Competition Panel, now part of NHS Improvement.

Andrew's experience includes leading the Competition Commission's market investigation into grocery retailing, directing the inquiry into the takeover bids for the London Stock Exchange by Deutsche Bourse and Euronext, and multiple health and care sector mergers.

Mike Stones, Journalist (Chair)

Mike Stones is a food and drink industry journalist. Previous roles have included Group Editor of business titles New Food, Food Manufacture, Editorial Director of Decision News Media, based in Montpellier in the South of France, and Deputy Editor of Farmers Weekly. He has written on food and environmental topics for The Ecologist and on sport aviation for specialist consumer magazines. He has served as a BBC Food and Farming Awards judge for the past two years and has made regular contributions to BBC Radio 4.

He enjoys flying vintage aircraft and co-owns an arable farm in Yorkshire.

Peter Kendall, Chairman of Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board

Peter Kendall is a fifth generation arable farmer from Eyeworth in East Bedfordshire who farms cereals in partnership with his brother Richard and mother.

Peter took a degree in Agricultural Economics at Nottingham University before returning to what was a traditional mixed farm in 1984.

The farm today is a specialist arable unit that undertakes contract farming for a number of local farmers, cropping in total 2300 hectares.

Peter was appointed Chairman of AHDB in 2014 having been President of the NFU for the previous 8 years.

Peter received a Knighthood for his services to the agricultural industry in England and Wales in the Queen's 2015 New Year's Honours

Dr Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP

Peter Maddox is Director of WRAP UK. He has been with WRAP for 12 years, initially working on developing markets in the UK for recycled materials and working closely with Defra on environmental policy.

He became Director in 2016 and is currently responsible for WRAP's work on food waste, plastics, clothing and resource management in the UK. Before WRAP, he spent nearly 20 years working for BP in the chemicals sector in UK and France in research, manufacturing and strategy roles. He has a BA and DPhil in chemistry from the University of Oxford. Outside work, Peter enjoys cycling, reading, walking the dog and real ale.

Stefano Agostini, CEO Nestlé UK and Ireland

Stefano Agostini became CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland on 1 July 2017. Stefano joined Nestlé in Italy in 1989 as Regional Sales Manager, rising rapidly through a range of senior roles until becoming National Sales Director for Nestlé Waters Italy in 2001.

He transferred to the UK in 2004 as Country Business Manager for Nestlé Waters UK, and was a member of the leadership team for Nestlé in the UK and Ireland market.

In 2007 Stefano was appointed President and CEO of Sanpellegrino, Nestlé Waters Italy. Under his leadership the Sanpellegrino and Acqua Panna brands
delivered significant growth, with increased market share and profitability. In his ten years as CEO, Sanpellegrino tripled its international business.

Adam Leyland - The Grocer Magazine

Adam Leyland has been editor of The Grocer since 2006.

An authority on issues as diverse as food pricing, binge drinking, a host of consumer trends and new product development, as well as the power and reach of supermarkets, Adam is a very well- known figure in the industry, and makes regular appearances on the BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 4 and other media, as well as chairing conferences and hosting awards.

Glenn Hall – Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Glenn Hall is a corporate lawyer based in London.

Glenn has acted for investment banks, corporates, financial investors and governments on a wide range of transactions including public and private M&A, IPOs, joint ventures and privatisations, as well as strategic advisory work for the Boards of various UK and international companies.

Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defra

Sue Hayman is a British Labour Party MP, serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs since 2017, and has served as Member of Parliament for Workington since 2015.

Susan was selected by a women-only shortlist in 2013 to be Labour Party candidate for a Workington seat, she retained the seat and become the first female MP to represent a constituency in Cumbria.

Ben Morrison, Head of Commercial Grocery Division at Nielsen

Ben Morrison is the Head of Commercial for Grocery Clients at Nielsen.

He has worked with the biggest manufacturers both in the UK and Internationally for over 10 years. He is a regular speaker on the UK's FMCG Retail Environment and Consumer trends and indeed he has been our guest presenter with the FDF Sales Directors Forum for the last 2 years.

Rose Price, Head of Buying, Ocado

Rose has worked for Ocado for the last 9 years and been part of the team responsible delivering Ocado's retail strategy.

She has an industry reputation for "farm gate to plate" and a strong knowledge of all fresh and frozen products. Prior to working for Ocado Rose worked for Abel and Cole, Somerfield Stores Ltd; and Makro Cash & Carry, with a period of time spent working in France at the Metro Training Centre. In the early part of her career she worked for the manufacturing base in both buying and sales.

John Mahon, Director General for Exports, Department of International Trade

John Mahon is the Director General for Exports in the Department for International Trade. John spent over 30 years in banking, working for JP Morgan and Barclays.

He has worked in a variety of senior roles in banking in Barclays, most recently heading Barclays Corporate Bank, providing banking services to medium and large corporations in the UK and around the world.

John has a BA (Mod) in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin. John is married with 3 children and is a dual-national Irish and UK citizen.

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink

James Withers is Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink. Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D) was set up in 2007 to grow the value and reputation of Scotland's food and drink industry. Through its uniquely collaborative approach, Scotland's food and drink sector has gone from a static position in 2007 to now being one of Scotland's best performing sectors with an annual turnover of £14 billion.

Prior to joining the SF&D in 2011, James was CEO of the National Farmers Union Scotland where he promoted the interests of the nation's agricultural industry. James sits on the Scottish Government Board of Trade and is a Board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, working to enhance Scotland's world class tourism offer.

Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food & Drink (NIFDA)

Michael Bell has over thirty-two years' experience in the food industry. Prior to joining NIFDA he worked in the bakery trade in Northern Ireland and Malta for twelve years. During this period he worked closely with major retailers and obtained a place on the senior management board of Ormeau Bakery.

Michael holds a Food Science (Hons) degree from The Queen's University of Belfast. He is also a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. He holds a diploma in Company Director from the Institute of Directors. He has been instrumental in the development of NIFDA since its foundation in 1996. For ten years he was involved in developing Northern Ireland Food Chain Certification Ltd. In 2004 he assisted the merging of Taste of Ulster into NIFDA.

Tanya Michelsen, Associate Director, YouthSight

Tanya leads the brand research team at YouthSight, an award-winning agency specialising in youth research. Her team helps clients understand Millennial and Gen Z audiences, how to target them and what messages resonate with them, with the aim of helping brands grow. She has a strong background in campaign evaluations, ad-testing, brand tracking and ad-hoc research. Clients she has worked with include Facebook, Instagram, The FA, BBC, GlaxoSmithKline, Karma Cola and Dairy UK.

Wayne Mills, Manager Director, Trade and Working Capital, Large Corporates, Lloyds Banking Group

Wayne joined Lloyds Banking Group in 1990 and is responsible for leading a team of Trade and Working Capital professionals who support clients across all industry sectors and product solutions including traditional Trade, seller-led Receivables Purchase and buyer-led Supplier Finance.

Wayne's team support clients across the globe either through Lloyds own offices in key locations or via strategic partnerships allowing access to a range of services in over 100 countries.

A 30 year banking career has seen Wayne hold a variety of leadership, relationship management and business development roles in Corporate Banking including Leveraged Finance as well as leading teams in Trade, Invoice Finance and Asset Finance.

James Schofield, Managing Director, Global Head of Food, Drink and Leisure, Lloyds Banking Group

James Schofield is the Global Head of Food, Drink & Leisure and joined Lloyds Banking Group in 2006. His team is based in London, Manchester and Cambridge, in addition to being supported by a regional presence in the United States, Continental Europe and Singapore. They engage clients across a whole range of balance sheet solutions ranging from optimal funding and liquidity strategies through to holistic hedging strategies to manage the inherent financial risks.

He also remains the senior sponsor on a number of Lloyds' key TMT relationships having previously ran TMT as well as the Digital Leaders' programme within Large Corporates, which was established to deliver digital thought leadership and strategic direction across the division.

Keith M Smyton, Deputy Director of the Food and Drink Division, Welsh Government

Keith has held a senior leadership position in the Welsh Government Food Division since 2013 and developed and launched the current Towards Sustainable Growth: An Action Plan for the Food and Drink industry (2014-2020) in Wales; set up the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board and Food Innovation Wales, these boards are developing a collaborative business and innovative culture linking Welsh Government, industry and academia with new ways of working with new collaborative business models and establishing Welsh Food and Drink industry on the international stage.

Organiser: Casey Horn, 020 7420 7146, casey.horn@fdf.org.uk