Published: 15:09, 14 January 2020
| Updated: 15:10, 14 January 2020
Local food and drink champions, Produced in Kent, has unveiled its new boss.
Floortje Hoette, former external relations officer for the Kent Business School at the University of Kent, took over the role of manager this week.
She becomes the permanent replacement for Stephanie Durling who retired in October.
It comes hot on the heels of last week's Kent Business Summit which she helped organise in one of her last jobs at the university.
Prior to working at the university, she had worked in a variety of senior roles in her native country of Holland including for the Netherlands Red Cross in The Hague, as well as in several other countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Nepal and South Sudan.
Stephen Clarke, chair of Produced in Kent, said: “The board is delighted to announce Floortje’s appointment and she will bring to the role a considerable range of skills and experience, to ensure the continued success of the organisation into the next decade.
"Floortje will work closely with the board to develop a strategy to safeguard the future of Produced in Kent and she will be working hard with all of our partners to continue to support our members and the wider Kent food, drink and agriculture sectors.”
Floortje Hoette said: "I am very much looking forward to the challenge of leading Produced in Kent and further developing the range of services, support and events for members, as well as connecting with the wider food and drink sector, both here in Kent and further afield.
"Produced in Kent’s members, like many businesses, have been facing a degree of uncertainty in the current political climate. We will continue to do what we do best, which is to provide information and support to business leaders, guide them to grow their business sustainably and access funding, and to help build connections with other Produced in Kent members and the wider Kent business network.”
Annually, the food and drink sector in Kent contributes £2.6bn to the UK’s food and drink industry each year.