Fresh food expert Ford appointed board director at 'Produced in Kent'
Fresh food expert and industry-heavyweight Carol Ford said she was "honoured" to become a new board director at trade body 'Produced in Kent'.
Starting out as a retail buyer for Sainsbury’s, Ford has worked in various marketing and commercial management roles for Fyffes, Congelow Organic Produce and The Greenery, among others.
Over the last decade, she has built up a huge network in the growing industry within the county and was a director on the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (KMEP), Kent Business Advisory Board (KBAB) and South East Local Economic Partnership (SELEP).
In 2021, she decided to fully commit to consultancy services to the county’s food sector.
Recently, Produced in Kent has worked closely with her on various projects linked to the agri-food sector, including the Kent Gleaning Collective, a one-year project aimed at helping the county's farmers redistribute fresh surplus to charities and food banks, where she is still an advisor.
"As we all know Kent is a county with a proud heritage as the Garden of England and on the back of that we have a dynamic and modern food sector based here, be that in hospitality, growing, producing and innovating new food and drink products," said Ford.
"We go from incubator projects to multi-million pound food and drink businesses and everything in between. Food is incredibly important in all aspects of life and supports our economy, health, culture and sense of identity in our place. The imaginative work and support that Produced in Kent provides in championing Food and Drink in Kent and Medway is second to none.
"I hope my passion and experience for fresh food, fresh produce, horticulture, agriculture and the wider sector will complement the amazing work already being undertaken by Produced in Kent for our county, districts and critically our food and drink businesses."
Floortje Hoette, CEO of Produced in Kent, added: "She brings such a wealth of knowledge but is also a fantastic person to work with: passionate, no nonsense, results-driven and so positive about the opportunities for our sector.
"Produced in Kent has a number of very exciting new projects in the pipeline and the expertise and sector knowledge of Carol will be instrumental in their success."
Ford continues to advise Kent County Council on all things food-related and chairs the Fresh Food Production/Horticulture Task Force - a grower and producer network.
She also sits on the steering group of the Produced in Kent-led Kent Food Partnership, a regional cross-sector collaboration between local Government, f&d businesses, educational institutes, public health and community food initiatives.