Investors, banks and finance providers joined Welsh food and drink businesses at the iconic Royal Mint on Thursday 24th March for the Sustainable Scale Up Cluster’s first annual conference, Money To Grow. Hosted by business journalist Brian Meechan, the agenda started with opening remarks from Lesley Griffiths MS, and Food and Drink Wales Industry Board member, Maggie Ogunbanwo. The focus of the morning’s agenda was examining in more detail the three key challenges faced by businesses when scaling – capital, capacity and competencies, by organisations including the Development Bank of Wales, British Business Bank and FDF Cymru. Keynote speaker Will Jennings, Rabobank’s UK CEO, also highlighted a fourth ‘C’, the need for collaboration across the agri-food supply chain.
The Sustainable Scale Up Cluster’s Non-Executive Director (NED) programme was launched at the conference. The programme aims to match experienced NEDs with Welsh food or drink businesses who are missing key skills or the experience needed to accelerate their growth. Experienced NED George Adams and Just Love Foods’ Managing Director, Mike Woods, highlighted the benefits that appointing NEDs brought to the business. Read more about the programme HERE
Results from the interactive voting by the delegates throughout the day revealed that 75% of the food or drink businesses who voted, said that they will be investing to scale their business in the next 12 months, while 19% are aiming to do so in the next 2-3 years. To help support that growth, over 30 1:1 appointments took place between food or drink businesses and banks, investors and finance providers.
The event also supported 16 Welsh food or drink businesses, by working closely with the event’s catering teams on the menu development.