Supply chains, food trends, changing attitudes to food, and growing food sustainably and securely. Participate in the commercial benefits of food innovation through events and networking
Since 2021, the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been building a growing Food and Drink Innovation Cluster in Norfolk and Suffolk. It connects food and drink producers, suppliers and researchers and promotes knowledge exchange, collaboration and innovation.
The cluster is part of a wider project, working with Hethel Innovation who have developed an Innovation Support Programme to help guide food and drink SMEs and start-ups to market; removing barriers, avoiding pitfalls, and opening doors for businesses.
The Broadland Food Innovation Centre, which opened in September 2022, has been designed to meet both sustainable development criteria and British Retail Consortium requirements, providing a home for food and drink businesses who require food grade premises to accelerate their growth plans.
We're delighted to be able to support so many innovative Food & Drink businesses in the East of England. Here are a few words from some of them.
Old Rectory Preserves
Jams, marmalades and preserves
The whole team couldn’t have been more helpful or supportive. All contributed massively to the smooth running of the event. Alex, Charlotte, Colin, Clarke (listed alphabetically as you were all brilliant) – a heartfelt thank you. I loved getting to know my fellow producers better, and I am so excited to be working closely with you in the future. Sharing our stories about the challenges we have all had to face over the last couple of years really made me feel part of a community. I am no longer alone! Basically, a Michelin 3* all round. I couldn’t be happier!
Paddy & Scott's
The Food and Drink Expo was a fantastically well organised event by the Innovation Cluster, with special thanks to Colin and Clarke for their support on the day. A great way for us to get in front of people we wouldn’t ordinarily and be a part of showcasing some of the amazing businesses within Suffolk & Norfolk!
D & F McCarthy
The BFIC team have been an incredible support to D & F McCarthy Ltd. Initially we didn’t realise we’d be able to achieve support given that we’re already an established business, but the sheer amount of support that the team has offered us has allowed us to pursue a project we otherwise wouldn’t be able to. What started as a small idea has become a reality because of the help we were offered, and if there are any businesses wondering whether they should reach out for help, I could not recommend the cluster enough. Not only was the support forthcoming, the level at which it was delivered was incredibly high; we were given access to industry specialists immediately which filled in the gaps our business perfectly.
Everybody wins out of our partnership with One Planet Pizza and the Food Innovation Cluster: food wastage is avoided and our community of 2,000 households struggling to afford food have access to their tasty pizza.