A One-Day, Industry-Led Conference & Networking Exhibition, London, 9th May 2023

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3rd Annual

Group Discounts Available! Book 4 For 3

Conference Day Programme

08.30 Registration, Informal Networking & GIC Welcome

09.00 Morning Co-Chairs’ Opening Remarks

Rafael Caldas, Head of Compensation, Kraft Heinz

James Hampton, Head of People & Culture, St Austell Brewery

Effective Attraction & Retention Strategies


09.10 Win The War For Talent! Showcase Your Food & Drink Organisation As A Long-Term, Engaging & Development-Driven Career Pathway To Skyrocket Attraction Levels & Retain Existing Talent :

  •  What are candidates looking for today? What is really winning and landing for potential talent? Best-in-class strategies to tangibly attract specialised skillsets and mitigate attrition levels.

  • Boost employee engagement and satisfaction within the challenging F&B industry by creating an environment which retains the people you want to retain and simultaneously attracts the candidates you require.

  • Why is food, drink and hospitality an excellent career choice? Refresh and rebrand the sector’s reputation to attract new talent looking for long-term careers and invested skills development.

  • How can talent progress in your organisation? Create flexible career paths to engage and excite your workforce and encourage them to align their futures with the future of your organisation.

Hayley Connor, Head of People, GAIL’s

Training, Learning & Development




09.30 Optimise Innovative, Cost-Effective & Time-Effective Training, Learning & Development Strategies Which Reduce The Skills Gap, Power Career Progression & Retain Talent :

  • Reducing the skills gap : effectively allocate internal training resources to boost the skill set of your workforce, shorten the skills gap and ultimately help the business bottom line.
  • What is the next phase of L&D in Food and Drink? Develop advanced strategies and activity agendas to foster a culture of learning and development that turns theory into practice even when time is restricted to increase retention levels.
  • Apply hybrid working models to your learning and development initiatives to create tailored training so all employees feel that they are developing.

beth clarke, head of people & culture, wagamama

Sean Penistone, Director, Talent & Succession Management, Kerry

LisaJane McBain, Director, Operational Training, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Jane Murray, Director of Learning & Development, Marston’s

Daran Gisby, Group Learning & Development Manager, CPC Foods

Tom Swanson, Head of Learning & Development, Rosa’s Thai

Mental Health & Wellbeing

10.00 Tackle Burnout, Stress & Mental Health In Your Food & Drink Business With Proactive, Supportive & Holistic Wellbeing Strategies :

  • Prioritise mental health and wellbeing in your food and drink business by removing stigmas and taboos and developing an authentic understanding so that employees feel they can ask for support when needed.
  • Wellbeing issues can be harder to spot with remote workers across different sites and warehouses, how can you adapt wellbeing practices to ensure both remote and hybrid employees are supported?
  • What does today’s work-life balance look like with shift work? Decipher what your employee’s expect from your organisation today in order to meet their needs effectively.
  • Examine proactive and practical examples of embedding effective mental health support initiatives into your organisational structure to safeguard your entire workforce.  

Jan Lynegar, Director Of HR Business Partnering & Engagement, Marston’s

10.20 Morning Refreshment Break With Informal Networking

10.50 Bonus Session; Reserved For Exclusive Conference Partner

Diversity & Inclusion



11.20 Power Momentum & Accelerate Action By Embedding Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Into The Heart Of Your Food & Drink HR & Engagement Strategies :

  • Authentically embed DE&I into your organisation’s culture to ensure all employees can bring their true selves to work.
  • Elevate your employee networks and D&I champions to encourage active involvement and engage and communicate effectively with your entire, diverse workforce.
  • Diversify pipelines and expand talent pools to better serve a diverse range of candidates and really drive ongoing inclusive and fair recruitment.

Julie Thomas, Global Director – Inclusion, Diversity & Equity, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Rafael Caldas, Head of Compensation, Kraft Heinz

Helen Seager, P&O Director Europe, Mars Food

Sapna McCarthy, Lead – Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Tate & Lyle

UK Skills & Labour Shortage


11.50 Practical Strategies To Combat The External Market Factors Affecting Food & Drink Today & Ensure Business Stability In Uncertain & Challenging Times :

  • What effective in-house strategies can be implemented to recruit quality talent, fill business skills gaps and combat shortages of quality skilled and unskilled labour to ensure workforce stability?
  • Create attractive apprenticeship schemes for young people which link to exciting career paths to maximise the levy and boost skills needed within the business.
  • The ongoing aftermath and impact of Brexit: review the updated visa and legal processes and regulations when hiring talent from Europe to regain your talent pool and reduce skills gaps compliantly and securely.

Marco Galer-Reick, Human Resources Director, Delaware North

12.10 Morning Co-Chairs’ Closing Remarks

12.15 Lunch & Informal Networking For Speakers, Delegates & Partners

13.15 Afternoon Chair’s Opening Remarks

Nina Ohol, People Services Transformation, British Sugar

Leaders & Managers


13.25 Developing Leaders Of The Future: Proactively Tackle Industry Challenges By Restructuring Leadership Roles, Developing People To Inspire Talent & Ensuring Your Teams Have The Right Capabilities To Succeed :

  • Redefine leadership by identifying the management strategies and skillsets needed to bring the best out of employees in order for teams to excel.
  • Evaluate how the pastoral element of line management has changed and the importance of senior leaders building and maintaining a psychologically safe environment for employees to thrive in their workplace.
  • Fundamentally leadership sets culture, and when culture wins, your workforce are engaged, motivated and productive! Ensure your leaders are aligned with your business’ values, culture and purpose to authentically engage and retain staff.

Spen Nash, Head of Org Dev & Talent, KP Snacks

13.45 Bonus Session; Reserved For Exclusive Conference Partner

Sustainability: HR’s Role to Play

14.15 HR As A Force For Change! Lead The Way By Supporting Sustainability Goals & Feeding These Into HR & Recruitment Strategies In Order To Attract, Engage & Retain New & Existing Talent :

  • As sustainability and ESG continues to land on the agenda for HR professionals, how can HR and people functions support their organisation’s sustainability goals and develop strategic practices in this area?
  • Create adaptive strategies for the future so that HR can react quickly and timely to sustainability trends and feed these into reskilling and upskilling employees.
  • The ESG attraction factor: analyse the impact of your organisation’s sustainable practices and ethics on the attraction and retention of talent.
  • The green level-up: explore the core green skills which can strengthen your workforce and embed sustainable practices in your culture.

James Hampton, Head of People & Culture, St Austell Brewery

Recruitment & Talent




14.35 Deliver Targeted, Engaging & Elevated Recruitment Strategies By Maximising The Latest Trends, Insights & Innovations To Ensure You Attract & Secure Top Talent In A Shrinking Talent Pool :

  • Pinpointing pain points in the food and drink industry : what is making it difficult to recruit in today’s market? And how can you overcome barriers to win the talent and skillsets you need and secure business stability?
  • Uncover innovative methods to hone your recruitment process and recruit new talent with creative and resilient talent pipelines which deliver the skilled and unskilled labour your business requires.
  • What are Gen Z looking for in their future employer? Access the up-and-coming talent base and stand out from competition with carefully crafted, authentic and personalised candidate experiences driven by real insights.

Karen Bates, Group People Director, Brewdog

Sarah Langford, Group Talent Acquisition Manager, CPC Foods

Emma Galvin, Director of Learning & Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Caroline Cantwell, Head of People- FTG & Group Resourcing, Samworth Brothers

Emma Brierley, Director of Talent & Development, Broadwick Soho

15.05 Afternoon Refreshment Break With Informal Networking

15.35 Bonus Session; Reserved For Exclusive Conference Partner

Flexible, Hybrid & Remote Working



15.50 Successfully Adapt Frameworks & Working Models By Incorporating Hybrid & Flexible Working Strategies Where Possible Which Suit Both The Needs Of Your Workforce & Your Organisation To Minimise Turnover & Remain Competitive :

  • What does flexible working in the Food and Drink industry actually look like? What does flexibility mean for in person work, and how can you compete with other industries that offer flexible policies?
  • From productivity and performance to employee wellbeing… investigate the impact of flexible working on your workforce to adapt to changing employee needs whilst matching the needs of your business.
  • Adjust to new hybrid team structures with practical and tangible examples of how you can seamlessly build and secure line manager trust and colleague cohesion so that all colleagues feel supported and connected to the organisation.

Suzy Jearum, Associate Director of Digital Employee Experience, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Employee Rewards & Benefits


16.10 Refresh, Strengthen & Refine Your Employee Rewards & Benefits To Keep Up With Ever-Changing Expectations With Value-Adding Initiatives Which Enhance The Employee Experience In Your Food & Drink Business :

  • Addressing the cost-of-living crisis: how can you effectively support your employees throughout challenging and uncertain times with both tangible and intangible benefits?
  • Long hours, unsociable shifts, unappealing working environments! Refine your reward, benefit and wellbeing programmes with tailored options to attract potential applicants.
  • From salary assessments, financial literacy training and support packages… stand out in a crowded marketplace with benefit initiatives, systems and packages which meet your existing employee’s needs and expectations.
  • Examine and explore alternative engagement strategies outside of monetary and salary-based rewards which enhance the employee experience, maintain motivation and drive loyalty.

Anna-Maria Tsili, Head of HR & Talent, itsu

16.30 Afternoon Chair’s Closing Remarks

Nina Ohol, People Services Transformation, British Sugar

16.40 Official Close of Conference