Portsmouth Business School

Past Hot Topics

Who'd be a food supplier? Falling prices, rising costs - could you survive?

  • Date: 21 September 2016
  • Time: 5.30pm
  • Venue: Portsmouth Business School

Food hot topic pictureFood and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and agri-food as a whole employs 3.9 million people in the UK.  The gross value of the sector to the UK economy is £109bn. But despite this success, many food businesses operate on very slim profit margins, coping with rising costs and falling prices. These pressures are only likely to increase as the UK deals with the outcome of the Brexit vote to leave the EU, and subsequent loss of agriculutral subsidies.

However, the sector is also seeing growth in exports, productivity and employment.

This Hot Topic seminar will look at what all businesses can learn from food and drink companies who survive and thrive in this difficult market.

Speakers will discuss how new and growing food businesses can build on opportunities, and share lessons from those which struggle. They will also look at what consumers need to know about the risks of an industry society can't do without.

The seminar will offer a chance to consider whether things will get better or worse for the industry, especially in light of the Referendum result.



Professor Lisa Jack, Professor In Accounting, Portsmouth Business School.

After ten years in auditing, Lisa moved into teaching accountancy and management. Whilst teaching at a specialist agricultural college, she became interested in accounting practices in the agri-food industry. Lisa joined the University of Portsmouth as Professor in Accounting in 2009, where she has continued her research into management control in food supply chains.

At Portsmouth, she has developed her expertise in forensic accounting and since the horsemeat scandal in 2013, has been able to bring this together with her expertise in food supply chains to the study of fraud in the food and drinks industry. She set up the University's Food Fraud Group in 2014, and helped convene Portsmouth Business School's Gate-to-Plate research group.

Duncan Swift, Partner and Head of Food Advisory Group, Moore Stephens LLP

Duncan leads the Moore Stephens' national Food Advisory Group and the corporate advisory team in Southampton. Specialising in all aspects of business restructuring and rescue, Duncan has a strong track record in working successfully with boards, banks and asset-based lenders. Duncan’s expertise spans the engineering, maritime, property, professional practice and food production & processing sectors. Duncan's nationally recognised expertise in the food production & processing sector includes published submissions to the Competition Commission during its 2006-2008 Groceries Market Review. His notable cases include Food Brokers, Manor Farm Ducks, Rayner Foods, Devon Desserts/BG Foods, Dairywise and Keith Floyds’ Public House.



5.30pm - Registration and refreshments
6.00pm - Guest speakers
7.00pm - Question & answer session
7.30pm - Networking with cheese and wine


Car parking is available on site after 5pm for a fixed fee of £2. For more details, maps and directions to the venue, please see our website

Register now