The UK Food Valley food cluster will be officially launched at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s annual conference at the Lincolnshire Showground on Tuesday 2nd November.
The ambitious project will create a top 10 global food cluster in Greater Lincolnshire with the potential to create an additional £2bn of GVA and 11,000 jobs by 2030.
The UK Food Valley will unite three separate food enterprise zones (FEZs) with university research facilities, investors, and a wide range of additional business parks and commercial sites which host food sector companies, from production and processing to marketing and distribution.
The project aims to support growth and encourage inward investment by promoting the scale, diversity and importance of the food sector to the area, and by ensuring that existing food sector companies and new investors are supported.
Key priorities for the UK Food Valley include accelerating food chain automation, delivering low-carbon food chains, and developing the market potential of naturally healthy and sustainable foods.
Greater Lincolnshire currently produces an eighth of England’s food, including 30% of the nation's vegetables and 18% of the poultry. The region supports around 75,000 food sector jobs, 18% of jobs in the area compared to 4% of the UK workforce.
Sarah Louise Fairburn, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Food Board, Deputy Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, founder of Imp & Maker, and lead on the UK Food Valley said: “Our UK Food Valley programme brings together the food industry with valuable food supply chains, tech suppliers, local and national government and academia, with strong links to industry.
“The opportunities are tremendous and include significant further collaboration with additional industries to not only strengthen the food sector but our whole economy - uniting marketeers, brand experts, photographers, ecommerce and digital businesses as well as solicitors, and linguists to name but a few!”
She added: “We are also eager to connect more with our health sector as the correlation between diet and health outcomes is so significant. If the balance is right, this could significantly benefit our health services and health of the nation too.”
In addition to the UK Food Valley, the LEP’s annual conference will showcase priority sectors such as green energy and defence and security, emerging projects such as the Humber Freeport and Humber Zero Decarbonisation, and expert keynote speakers and industry panellists from various sectors.
The event will be held at the EPIC Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground on Tuesday 2nd November, from 8.30am-1pm. Register your place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-greater-lincolnshire-lep-annual-conference-2021-tickets-176396786537