Boost for Kent food & drink producers


Good Food Growth Kent

Leading lights in the Kent food and drink industry met this week to identify the challenges they face in growing their markets, in response to a project funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), with support from Produced in Kent, to boost the local rural economy.

Twenty firms including Kent Crisps, Biddenden Vineyards, Eckley Farms, Cantium Gin, Charringtons and Simply Ice Cream joined a lively discussion covering the challenges and opportunities created by Brexit, dealing with supermarkets, distribution of products, pricing, PR and marketing.

Special guests Simon Howlett, Executive Development Chef at Shepherd Neame Ltd, and Finn Dunlop, General Manager at Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham, brought their expertise to help facilitate sessions focused on how best to serve the hospitality, wholesale and retail sectors.

“Buying local produce becomes ever more popular as the environmentally-friendly choice and it was recognized by the group that producers need to clarify the provenance of their food and tell its story well,” said Hilary Knight, co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, commissioned to create a programme of events to support local producers across the SELEP region.

“We will be developing a Training Workshop later this year to help producers overcome the barriers they face to growing their markets as well as a Meet the Buyer Event early next year.”

Kent food and drink producers are encouraged to fill in a questionnaire to help shape these free events by end August at:

If you have any questions, email: