The Good Food Growth South East conference will examine trends and opportunities for the sector in the 2020s.
Taking place on Tuesday, March 17, at The Orangery in Turkey Mill, it will be chaired by Sheila Dillon from BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme.
Graham Peters, vice chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), which is behind the event, explained: “Food and drink businesses from across East Sussex, Essex and Kent are invited to the conference on upcoming consumer trends and eco-friendly innovations.
“The conference is the final event in a series of focus groups, training workshops and ‘meet the buyer’ events funded by South East Local Enterprise Partnership to help local producers in the region make the most of opportunities this decade.”
Conference speakers include Morgan Griffiths from thefoodpeople and Abi Aspen Glencross from Pale Green Dot, while Touch Packaging will focus on eco-friendly and sustainable food and drink packaging innovation.
More than 100 artisan producers in the region have participated in the Good Food Growth South East events so far, covering products from spirits, wines and beers to fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, baked goods, prepared and smoked products, confectionary and dairy including milk, cream, cheese and ice cream.
Added Mr Peters: “We are blessed with a huge range of very creative food and drink producers in the South East and with our vicinity to London and a large population, we have a huge market right on our doorstep.
“The impact of the UK’s exit from the EU and a growing demand from the public for high quality, local, traceable produce with a wholesome story behind it, means our food and drink industry should go from strength to strength and we want to help wherever we can.”
The Good Food Growth project is funded by SELEP to boost the local rural economy, managed by Natural Partnerships CIC, with support from East Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, Produced in Kent and Essex Chambers.
The conference runs from 10am to 2pm. To register, click here.