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Essex Business Food Festival

The Northumberland Building, Writtle University College, Lordship Rd, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3RP

Friday 28th September 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm


We all enjoy food but do we know where it really originates from and who produced the products we see in our high street shops.?

Essex Chambers of Commerce are delighted to celebrate the great diversity of food and drink within our County at our very first Essex Business Food Festival which is our new exhibition taking place at The Northumberland Building, Writtle University College near Chelmsford on Friday 28 September 2018 between 9.00am and 5.00pm.  
Whether food is your passion or your business, the Essex Business Food Festival is the event to attend this September!

We will have a variety of exhibitors ranging from small "artisan" producers through to national and international household names.  We shall hear from Jo Fairley, one of the founders of Green and Blacks, about how they developed their brand into a household name. 

Closer to home we have the “Great Essex Food Debate” when we try to second guess what will happen to our food industry and what challenges or opportunities might face local producers in the future.   Apart from Brexit, will the long hot summer we’ve had this year become the norm and what impact might that have on food production? All this and more will be discussed by our panel.

Essex is also home to some great destinations to eat out and we will be joined by local award winning Michelin Star Chef Chris Galvin of Galvin Green Man at Great Waltham. Discover the raw ingredients produced in Essex and then see them turned into a superb meal.

There will also be a Networking Breakfast and a Networking Lunch.  You can book to come to as little or as much of the Festival as you would like.  Don't miss out - book your tickets now!

The timetable of the day is as follows:
9.00am Essex Business Food Festival Opens
9.00am - 11.00am Networking and Breakfast
11.00am - 12.00pm The Great Essex Food Debate
  • The Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP
  • David Burch, Director of Policy, Essex Chambers of Commerce
  • Chris Newenham, Joint Managing Director, Wilkin & Sons
  • Ben Underwood, Director East, Country Landowners Association East
12.00pm - 12.30pm Break
12.30pm - 2.00pm Give It A Try Vegan Lunch
After Lunch Speaker:
Jo Fairley of Green & Black
2.00pm - 2.30pm Break
2.30pm - 3.00pm Cooking Demonstration from:
Chris Galvin of Galvin Green Man
3.00pm - 3.15pm Break
3.15pm - 4.30pm Networking and Afternoon Tea
5.00pm Essex Business Food Festival Closes

Networking Breakfast & Debate
As the doors open, there will be chance to visit the exhibition stands and network while enjoying some breakfast rolls kindly provided by Wilkin & Son before attending our Great Essex Food Debate.  Book your tickets now to be part of The Great British Food Debate by clicking on the link below.

Networking Breakfast and Debate Tickets (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Breakfast Baps, Tea and Coffee and Debate
Members £15.00 + VAT and Non-Members £29.17 + VAT 

There will be a limited number of exhibition stands available for food related industries/suppliers.

Exhibition Stand (9.00am - 5.00pm)
Members £150.00 + VAT and Non-Members £250.00 + VAT

Networking Speaker Lunch, Demonstration and Afternoon Tea Tickets (12.30pm - 4.30pm)
Members £30.00 + VAT and Non-Members £60.00 + VAT

Networking Speaker Lunch, Demonstration & Afternoon Tea
During our Networking Speaker Lunch, we will be providing attendees with a lovely locally sourced Vegan Lunch and after the guest speaker and cooking demonstration a yummy Afternoon Tea kindly provided by Wilkin & Son. 

Lunch Speaker - Jo Fairley of Green & Black

We are very grateful for Jo joining us at our Essex Business Food Festival.  In 1991, Jo Fairley co-founded the pioneering organic chocolate company Green & Black’s (with her husband Craig Sams), which has now gone on to be ‘bigger than Marmite’ (in sales terms) and ‘cooler than Prada’ (Coolbrands 2007/2008); in the Coolbrands Survey 2009, Green & Black’s was the only food brand in the top 20.

In 2005, the brand was sold to Cadbury’s, but Jo remains in an ambassadorial role, travelling the world as the brand grows internationally in countries including the US and Australia. In 2008 Jo and her husband Craig Sams collaborated on Sweet Dreams: The Story of Green & Black’s (Random House).

Jo also founded Judges Bakery - an organic one-stop shop - and The Wellington Centre, an 11-room ‘boutique’ wellbeing centre, in her home town of Hastings. Having left school at 16 (with six ‘O’ Levels), by the age of 23 Jo became the youngest-ever magazine editor in the UK, editing first Look Now and then Honey Magazine. She is a Contributing Editor to the Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, as well as to a very wide range of publications including the new National Geographic Green. In May 2014 Jo launched The Perfume Society (, turning a life-long passion into a website which embraces the world's first appreciation society for fragrance-lovers. Jo is Website Editor of The Perfume Society, and edits The Scented Letter, the subscriber magazine

She is the co-author (with Sarah Stacey) of the bestselling Beauty Bible series of books, the world’s bestselling beauty books, including: The Beauty Bible, Feel Fab Forever: The Anti-Ageing Health & Beauty Bible, The 21st Century Beauty Bible, The Handbag Beauty Bible and most recently The Green Beauty Bible, which combines her ‘green’ expertise with her insights into the beauty world. She is also author of The Ultimate Natural Beauty Book.

For eight years Jo chaired the Soil Association’s Health Products Standards Committee, helping to set the standards for organic and natural bodycare in the UK. She is a ‘matron’ of the Women’s Environmental Network, runs makeover workshops for young women at Centrepoint and sits on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival committee.

For more information, please visit:

Cooking Demonstration from Chris Galvin of Galvin Green Man
We are delighted to welcome Chris Galvin of Galvin Green Man to our Essex Business Food Festival.  Chris started in a small neighbourhood restaurant as a pot washer for Antony Worrall-Thompson, before joining the brigade at The Ritz hotel in London under the direction of Michael Quinn.  His talent, enthusiasm and dedication was soon spotted and his career progressed to – amongst other establishments - The Lanesborough hotel, Ménage à Trois (NYC), Conran Restaurants and The Wolseley.

Chris  teamed up with his brother Jeff in 2005 to open their first solo venture, the eponymous Galvin Bistrot de Luxe in Baker Street, to much critical acclaim and many awards.  Since then they have added to the portfolio Galvin at Windows, Galvin La Chapelle, Galvin HOP, The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh, Galvin at The Athenaeum, Demoiselle Dubai and Galvin Dubai and Galvin Green Man in Essex.

Already awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and 2 Rosettes from the AA Guide, Galvin Green Man is one of the oldest pubs in Essex built in 1341. With its roaring fires in winter, cosy timber framed bar serving local craft beers, huge garden and regular summer BBQs, the pub even boasts a bus stop at its front door - ideal for indulging in a drink or two in the Essex Pub of The Year. 

As an addition to the pub, the Galvin Brothers have added a stunning restaurant boasting panoramic views delivering a refined British menu made of carefully sourced, seasonal ingredients. 

Offering great value set lunches & dinners midweek, family Sunday roasts and market specials, the Green Man is the perfect venue to relax and indulge with family and friends.  For further information, please visit:

The kitchen for the cooking demonstration is kindly being supplied by CCE Group Ltd who design, manufacture and install bespoke commercial kitchens & bars for the hospitality industry. We are premium partners with all the top catering equipment brands and can supply and fit everything in a commercial kitchen right down to the floors and walls.

The skills and experience of the CCE team do not stop at commercial kitchens & bars. We can design and build any kind of catering installation including food carts, pop-up kitchens, outdoor kitchens, barbecues and 'drop-in' units. We can meet the needs of any food outlet, however large or small, with our unique mix of bespoke stainless steel fabrication and unmatched knowledge of food service equipment.


Date:   Friday 28th September 2018 between 9.00am and 5.00pm
 The Northumberland Building, Writtle University College, Lordship Rd, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3RP

Cost to attend: Please see above prices - all prices are excluding VAT.

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Please note – if you do not receive confirmation 48 hours after booking your place, please contact the Events Team on 01268 209050.


All event bookings need to be made and paid online only unless we have agreed alternative arrangements with you in advance of the event.  If you have any queries, please contact our Accounts Manager Rachael Hogg on 01206 363721.


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