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'Sweeter life' for future food and drink firms.

A sweet plan cooked up by a university and a confectionery firm could see large and small food and drink manufacturers reaping the rewards of working more closely together.

Business managers at the University of Derby's Devonshire Campus in Buxton, are in talks with award winning sweets manufacturer Swizzels Matlow, based in New Mills, Derbyshire, about establishing a local Food Manufacturing Training Consortium.

It would aim to help food and drink manufacturers, whether small local producers or those linked to multi-national businesses, do better by working more closely together.

The proposed consortium would give companies involved in a similar line of work more chance to network and to share information, market research and best practice on staff development.

The proposed consortium would also work closely with existing initiatives already supporting the food and drink industry in the region, such as those established by business group, the East Midlands Incubation Network.

Angela Crawford, Regional Business Development Manager at the University of Derby Buxton, said: "We have already worked closely with local food manufacturing firms to provide locally sourced, relevant training and development, and we have identified the need to do more for this sector in our area.

"The University is uniquely placed to be able to provide training, development or consultancy from basic requirements (such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language) to undergraduate degree or postgraduate level.

"We would like to extend this capability to more local food and drink companies, as well as developing a meaningful consortium where organisations can have their identified needs met quickly and cost effectively."

Contact University of Derby on tel 01332 590500 or visit www.derby.ac.uk/business-development-unit/news
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Title Annotation:Evolution
Comment:'Sweeter life' for future food and drink firms.(Evolution)
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:276
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