Initiative will hope to showcase Thetford’s thriving industries to attract more to the town

A new initiative has been launched to highlight the thriving industries in Thetford and the surrounding area.

The Thetford Business Forum (TBF) Roadshow hopes to reach out to potential employers, employees and investors and attract them into the town.

Valerie Watson-Brown from the forum said Thetford’s industry is one of its “best kept secrets” and strengths.

The focus will be on seven of the strongest sectors,; agriculture, conservation and equine; pharmaceuticals; tourism, retail and hospitality; creative, tech industries; warehousing and logistics, and engineering and manufacturing.

The roadshow can be rolled out in any city and town and if a TBF’s member attends a separate event, posters and podiums can be taken along to promote the town.

Mrs Watson-Brown said: “The main objectives are to encourage inward investment, for businesses to relocate to Thetford and to educate future employees that there is an opportunity to work in the town.

She added: “Thetford has an amazing business community with many market leaders based in and around the town.”

The business forum, which is also celebrating its 10th year held the launch event at the West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, on Tuesday.

It has rebranded itself with a new logo and a video promoting the 80 business members will be released soon.

The project has been funded through the Place 21 scheme from European funding.

As part of this 52 students from the college were placed in 20 businesses throughout Thetford over a two week period last month.

Under the initiative, students are matched with employers to allow them to gain knowledge of industry types and the variety of work on offer within.

Student Diogo Pacheco, from Thetford, was offered a job after his placement at Thetford Garden Centre.

He said: “I am really pleased because I didn’t expect it. I enjoyed working there. It shows that work experience can get you a job.”

Mrs Watson-Brown added: “Working with West Suffolk College members have developed a unique project to incorporate the rebrand of the forum as well as to work with students on developing a better way to engage with potential employees”.

Firms including Warren Services, Center Parcs and Century Logistics attended.

Shadwell Stud

It is a breeding ground for champion racehorses and is also one of Thetford’s biggest employers.

Around 160 people are employed at Shadwell Stud.

James O’Donnell, assistant stud director, said: “Things like this are a good way for us to let people of any age know there are opportunities which we can offer.

“Our industry is suffering and we have a real issue with employment. I think there is a lack of understanding from some people about careers in equine.

“Also Brexit has not helped and historically we have had a lot of eastern Europeans work for us.

“So this is essential for our business.”

Mr O’Donnell said there are more than 20 different jobs within the company - including marketing, IT, equestrian and game keeping - and a knowledge of horses is not needed. Training is not needed as Shadwell can pay for people to attend college courses. They also offer apprenticeships.

Published on 19-Mar-2018 12:00 with   
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Published on 29-Jan-2018 12:00 with   
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We've moved!

After many fun years at Yarmouth Road in Norwich, we've now moved to our bigger office just down the road - effective 1st November.

Our new address is 

79 Gordon Avenue, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich NR7 0DR

Please take a note of our new address and update your records. Our phone number remains exactly the same - 01603 702374.

Published on 01-Nov-2017 12:00 with   
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Five Successful Years of Local Flavours – behind closed doors!

Local Flavours is celebrating 5 years supporting food and drink producers in the region. Over 1,000 food trade buyers connect with over 100 producers, once a year, and over that time a contribution to the local economy of tens of thousands of pounds has been made.

This exclusive club is about to open its doors “by invitation only”…

You are therefore invited to join us between 3 and 5pm on Wednesday 27th September at the Norfolk Showground arena. Come along and browse the stands, network with other business professionals, treat yourself to some of the best flavours in the east and raise a glass with us to this most important industry for the region.

Cost of entry is just £10+VAT which includes refreshments and a contribution to YANA charity, which provides support for those working on farms and in rural locations who may be affected by stress and depression. Places to this exclusive event are limited - book yours here.

Please note, attendees with these tickets will only be allowed to access the event from 3pm. Entry before then is for those responsible for sourcing local produce for their menus and shelves.

Published on 05-Sep-2017 12:00 with   
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Fresh Pod to work with St Edmundsbury Borough Council on Sainsburys' "Waste less, Save More Project

Fresh Pod is a Norfolk based company using technology which works with farmers, growers, importers, wholesalers and others in commercial environments to extend the shelf life of fruit, vegetables and flowers. The technology used is both safe and natural and has been used around the globe for many years.  
Following a successful joint bid by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Fresh Pod, a six-month plan is now in place to educate the community in and around the Bury St Edmunds area on reducing fruit and vegetable waste. As part of the project 7,000 households will receive a Fresh Pod to trial in their fridge at home. During this time, the households participating will be monitored to determine how much food waste reduction has been achieved.  
Research by government agency WRAP shows that the average family household throws away £700 of food waste every year. With waste reduction across the food chain becoming increasingly important, Sainsbury's has allocated £1 million to support local communities in exploring ways of working with residents to reduce the colossal amount of food which ends up in landfill. This follows a Sainsbury's consumer waste reduction pilot with the town of Swadlincote in 2016.  
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury's project lead for "Waste less, Save more" said "We've learnt a huge amount as a result of a 12-month pilot we did with Swadlincote. We now have a far deeper understanding of how to help households waste less food and save money, as well as the scale of the challenge." 
"In addition to continuing to reduce food waste in our own operations, we set out our 5-year journey to discover ways to help our customers reduce waste at home, where we saw significant reductions in the amount of food being binned and more money being saved. We are looking forward to the next stage of our journey, working with communities across the UK and encouraging further momentum through our 10-point plan."  
St Edmundsbury Borough Council was chosen to be a Sainsbury's 'Discovery Community' as part of the supermarket's "Waste less, save more" campaign partnering Fresh Pod to win a share of the pot.  

Cllr Peter Stevens, Cabinet member for Operations said, 'On average a family throws away £700 of fruit and vegetables a year, which the council then has to pay to collect and dispose of. Fresh Pod lengthens the lifetime of food, giving householders more time to store it until needed. We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury's as part of the food chain, and equally to be using a locally developed and trusted solution - Fresh Pod."  
Valerie Watson-Brown, Director, Fresh Pod "It is really encouraging that Sainsbury's have got behind the issue of consumer food waste. It is shocking just how much fresh produce is thrown away. Getting Fresh Pod into the household fridge is a major hurdle for us and makes so much sense".  

"The technology is already being used extensively across the UK and Europe in the commercial world and by getting to the end user we can now protect fresh produce from the point of harvest right through to when it ends up on a plate. Extending the shelf life by four times will make a huge contribution to reducing our carbon footprint and alongside that, cost savings will benefit everyone".  
Fresh Pod commercial applications in storage and transport is already widely used in the fresh produce industry. Mansfields in Kent is just one of many soft and top fruit growers who uses the flexible technology to preserve freshness from point of picking.  
Paul Hollman, Mansfields "We have been working with Fresh Pod for over 4 years now and are happy to work with a company and team that is as dedicated to keeping our fruit fresh as we are. Our goal is for our fruit to arrive to our customers as fresh as possible and Fresh Pod are helping us to achieve that goal." 
For more information on Fresh Pod visit www.freshpod.co.uk, and for information about the Sainsbury's "Waste less, Save more" campaign in the Bury St Edmunds area visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk

Published on 31-Jul-2017 12:00 with   
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