Local agrifood and drink businesses enhance sales and marketing skills

Tuesday 26 September 2023

A number of agrifood and drink businesses recently gathered at the Ecos Hub in Ballymena for an informative sales and marketing masterclass designed to empower local enterprises and drive sector growth.

Agri Food stock image

The event, made possible through support from Invest NI, was expertly facilitated by industry specialists Mervyn Jones and Andy MacLachlan.

Tailored specifically to the unique needs of the agrifood and drink sector, the masterclass provided a valuable platform for businesses to enhance their sales and marketing strategies. Attendees gained insights into innovative techniques and best practice to better promote their products and expand their market reach.

Mervyn Jones shared his wealth of knowledge on how boost sales, foster lasting customer relationships, account management techniques plus the importance of producers preparing to ‘meet the buyer’ and carrying out a store walk and a gap analysis to determine a products best fit in the marketplace.

Andy MacLachlan runs a successful food and drink consultancy business specialising in new product development and the systematic approach a company needs to take to create and bring new products or services to the market. He outlined a series of steps aimed at efficiently and effectively developing and launching new products while minimising risks and ensuring alignment with the company's strategic goals.

Attendees also had the opportunity to connect with peers, share experiences, and explore solutions to common difficulties.

The masterclass also highlighted the significant role played by Invest NI, whose support made the event possible - with the support of Food NI.

Eva Dobbin, Business Growth Manager at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: "We were delighted Mervyn Jones and Andy MacLachlan hosted this masterclass and shared their expertise with our local businesses. The key insights and learnings they shared has equipped our business leaders with the practical tools to thrive in a competitive market. We would like to thank Invest NI and Food NI, who worked closely with Council to make this possible.”

The success of this masterclass reinforces the importance of continued collaboration between industry specialists, local businesses, and agencies like Invest NI and Food NI. It underlines the dedication of the agrifood and drink sector in delivering quality products and driving economic development within the region.

For more information about future events and initiatives aimed at supporting the agrifood and drink sector, contact e: