How can Growing Kent & Medway help to grow your food and drink business?

Kent and Medway is home to some of the most exciting and innovative food and drink businesses in the UK and beyond. From growers of fresh fruit and vegetables, to food processors and makers, through to engineers and robotics specialists automating our supply chains. Kent businesses are leading the way in healthy and sustainable food production.

Our mission at Growing Kent & Medway is to invest in innovative ideas to help the food and drink industry in our region continue to thrive. We support horticultural and plant-based businesses of any size; whether you simply have an idea for a new product, or run a large multinational company.

Joining our free network gives you access to business and research support, and an opportunity to connect with other businesses, innovators and investors.

Sign up for free today 

Mentoring

If you have an idea for a new business or would like help to grow your existing business, we are offering up to 12-hours of free one-on-one coaching and business support.

The programme is designed to support you on a wide range of areas from market research, sales, through to supply chain development or marketing strategies.

We will match you with carefully selected mentors, who have the skills and relevant industry experience to support your business growth.

Find out more about our Mentoring Programme here.

Food Accelerator

Do you have an idea for a new product, but need help to make it a reality? Or are you looking to scale-up your business?

We can help you take your concept through to market. Our research and business support team will help you understand whether the product is viable, create a business model, and find ways for you to fund the development.

Based at the Medway Food Innovation Centre, you will get access to equipment that can test flavour, help create healthier products with less salt or sugar, and check food safety.

Find out more about how Food Accelerator here.

Networking

By understanding your business, we can connect you with our experts who can work with you to help solve the challenges you may be facing, or help turn your ideas into a reality. This could involve taste testing a new product, finding more sustainable packaging options or automating your production!

Innovation

By understanding your business, we can connect you with our experts who can work with you to help solve the challenges you may be facing, or help turn your ideas into a reality. This could involve taste testing a new product, finding more sustainable packaging options or automating your production!

There are three organisations in Kent who lead the way in horticultural and plant-based food and drink research.

At NIAB in East Malling, the GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture can help you develop sustainable crop production systems, reduce waste and use resources such as water, nutrients and light more efficiently.

The Biotechnology Hub at the University of Kent can support you with identifying and controlling crop diseases, optimising plant growth conditions, and creating new sources of protein for food products.

And if you are looking to protype new food products, the Medway Food Innovation Centre at the University of Greenwich are leaders in testing food flavour, quality and safety.

Grants

From small grants of £5,000 to larger grants of up to £250,000, we have a range of funding opportunities available. Whether you want to find alternative ways to protect crops from pests and disease, or create a new use for your waste products, the money is there for you to invest in innovation, research and development.

Find out more about ours grants.

Signing up for a membership to Growing Kent & Medway is completely free. Register today.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Growing Kent & Medway and to see whether we can be of help to your business, please get in touch.

Drop an email to: [email protected] and an advisor will get back to you to find out more about your business and discuss how we can help.

Growing Kent & Medway is funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places fund.