The latest food trends, the war on waste and catering for vegans are just some of the topics on the agenda at the HTA Catering Conference which takes place on 5-6 June at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.


This year themed ‘A Recipe for Growth’, this successful two-day event and dinner is aimed at all those in garden centre catering from business owners and managers to chefs and front of house staff. With a mix of speakers from inside and outside the industry there will also be panel sessions and the opportunity to highlight issues pertinent to your own operation. Alongside the conference and dinner there will be an exhibition showcasing garden centre catering suppliers with further opportunity for networking with peers across the industry.

Day one of the conference (Tuesday 5 June) focusses on strategy and operations and will be chaired by Neville Stein of Ovation. Keynote speaker on this day is Jim Cregan, Founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee’s. After getting incredibly frustrated with working as a labourer, shifting bricks in the winter and hosting major UK festival stages dressed as a mermaid in the summer, Jim realised enough was enough and decided to head to Oz. It was there he fell in love with iced coffee and returned home to start his own company. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was formed in 2011 and with his sister as his business partner, a great deal of hard work and enthusiasm, they’ve built a successful business in the UK.

Josh Brown, Head of Commercial Development at Harris + Hoole will be talking about starting up, running and selling an independent coffee shop before joining Harris + Hoole.

At the conference dinner, we will be joined by the TV chef Rosemary Shrager. Rosemary endeared herself to the nation when she took part in 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here' where she proved she could cook just about anything, anywhere. Her latest programmes include The Big Family Cooking Showdown and The Real Marigold Hotel.

The second day of the conference (Wednesday 6 June) focusses on food. We will be joined by Paul Hargreaves, Founder and Chief Executive of Cotswold Fayre, a speciality & fine food wholesaler. Paul will be focusing his session on food trends to watch out for throughout 2018 and into 2019.

Jane Land, Founder of Veganuary, a charity which has encouraged over 200,000 people to try vegan for the month of January, will also be joining us on day two. With millennials moving towards meat free and free from foods, Jane will be talking about how you can make sure you are catering for all diets and why this shift in attitude towards plant-based diet is gaining momentum.

Eco Chef, Food Waste Activist and Author, Tom Hunt, is also founder of Forgotten Feast, a Social Enterprise working on projects throughout the UK to revive our cooking heritage and help reduce food waste and will give an inspiring talk on his learnings.

James Debbage from the award winning Green Pastures Garden Centre in Norfolk will provide an update on their innovative approach including their colourful home-grown salads, afternoon tea served in a trug and ice cream sundaes served in a ceramic welly boot!

Exhibitors booked to attend so far include Arden Coffee Ltd, BIRA, Citation, Frobishers Juices Ltd, Newbery International Produce Ltd, The Handmade Cake Company, Vision Commercial Kitchens, Matthew Algie & Co, Space Catering Equipment Ltd and Tea from the Manor.

To find out more and book your place visit

For details about sponsorship opportunities at the event please contact the HTA Commercial team:  Tim Bell on 07808 775177 / or Phil Swainston on 01235 776181 /

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