• BOC

Women in food industry celebrate achievements in business

Women working in the food industry came together in Sydney to celebrate their ideas and success stories.

The event, on October 22, was organised by Females in Food founder Chelsea Ford, who aims to help women succeed in the food and beverage industry.

‘Tipple’, held at Hacienda Sydney, allowed guests to network and gain insights into the industry from existing and prospective business owners.

At the event, Ford said getting a business off the ground takes time. “You must care, nurture and protect it until it’s old enough to stand on its own two feet.

“No matter how much you love it, it’s hard work, there’s no rule book, you don’t get enough sleep, you have a fear of being judged and there’s never enough time.” But, it’s all worth it, she said.

Ford started Females in Food to help small business owners thrive in the food industry and make the most of their lives and goals.

She works with women from all backgrounds and with varying levels of experience in the food and beverage sector.

“To give you an idea of the type of businesses I’m talking about, I want you to think about 
the women who produce, make and market the products we stock in our pantries [and] pack in our children’s lunchboxes,” she said at the event.

“Those who make the celebration cakes, we have for our office parties, and those who make the snacks we eat mid-flight.

“[And] the ones who give us choice in today’s predominantly store-brand stocked supermarkets. These women don’t fit in with the mainstream food trade and they’re not organised in a way to attend broad business chambers.

“They are visionaries, they are niche,” said Ford.

Discussion points at the event included learning about the latest trends in the industry, starting a business and connecting with existing business owners.

Tipple was sponsored by St.George Bank, which advocates for women in business. St.George Bank relationship director, Maria Savvas, said the opportunity to sponsor the event was a great way to support bringing together like-minded women to build knowledge and networking opportunities.

“It was great to see so many people who are passionate about women in Food and Beverage celebrating together,” she said.

St.George’s business banking is segmented by industry – this means that customers are connected with bankers who have extensive knowledge of that field,” said Savvas.

“Our bankers understand that food and beverage businesses operate in a constantly evolving and competitive environment.

A deep understanding of these businesses, combined with local knowledge, global insights and financial expertise, enables St.George to provide customers with banking solutions specific to their needs, said Savvas.

“We are passionate about helping businesses succeed and welcome the opportunity to understand your business, its goals and objectives and to discuss how St.George may provide assistance.”

Females in Food’s charity partner, The Butterfly Foundation, also sponsored the event. The foundation represents all people affected by eating disorders and negative body image.

The Butterfly Foundation highlights the realities of seeking treatment for recovery, and advocates for improved services from both government and independent sources.

Photo credit: Cynthia Sciberras

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