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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / November 2016 (1) / MIKE FORRESTER - CHAMBER HAS A BIG ROLE TO PLAY

Date: 09/11/2016

Mike Forrester, Vice President for Herefordshire on the Board of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of Orchard Valley Foods Limited, gives some insight into what the Chamber can offer.

A ‘not for profit’ organisation committed to the economic strength of the two counties, representing members, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Chamber, eighth largest in the UK, delivers its own services: the delivery of the contracts for the Department for International Trade, Visit Worcestershire and Visit Herefordshire, with around 1,500 members total.
I write being slightly traitorous as Orchard Valley Foods are also members of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.

We have a WR post code but physically are in Shropshire while our Leominster operation is soundly in Herefordshire. So we make best use of our locations and have won the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber Business Of The Year Award in 2015 and Shropshire’s Business Of The Year Award in 2016.

We may be traitorous but very consistent.

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce offers numerous support services and in the last 12 months provided more than 90 training activities, 8,000 export documents prepared for members, an achievable target to assist 118 companies gain export ‘wins’, including 46 companies gaining their first export sales this year.

The Chamber’s big event is the Business Expo at the Three Counties Showground, recently held in October. The event included 130 exhibitors from the Chamber region and 1,000 visitors, keynote speakers from Facebook and Hotel Chocolat.

My appointment as Chair of the Herefordshire Area Council and Vice President and Director of the Chamber is to ensure the concerns of Herefordshire members are communicated to the Chamber board and to central government.

I would encourage business leaders to consider how the Chamber can help you network, build local links and make use of the services available. Orchard Valley is going to spend a quarter of a million pounds on logistic support with a supplier met at a Chamber event and we are storing 600 pallets at Leominster for them. Win – Win.

Give me a call if you are interested in knowing more about the benefits of membership.

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