Food Sector

In Greater Lincolnshire, the food processing and wholesale sector is a large and progressive industry. The sector employs over 20,000 workers and it accounts for almost 5% of the UKs total employment.  The sector is worth a staggering £1.294b to the local economy.

Grimsby is the centre of fish manufacturing in the UK, with the largest national fish processing facilities residing in North East Lincolnshire, employing over 5,700 people. It is also the hub for over 100 independent mobile fish vans, who travel nationally on a daily/weekly basis to over 200 customers each.

We work closely with the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association to offer help and support in areas such as EU Exit planning, supply chain, employment law and gaining an online presence.

Because of the excellent local produce in Greater Lincolnshire, there is also a large concentration of food outlets, from Michelin starred restaurants to small eateries. Each one has individual needs ranging from food hygiene regulations and marketing planning to changes in labelling laws.

Through the GAIN programme, we work closely with these small to medium businesses that are innovative, forward thinking and often trend setting, along with many that are well established and looking to continue growing or looking to diversify. The businesses are food manufacturers, fish producers, cafes, restaurants, take-away businesses, home delivery, mobile fish vans, packaging suppliers, process consultants to the industry and many others in the wider food sector.

Rachel Appleton E-Factor business advisor

Rachel Appleton
Business Advisor within the Food Sector


“I have over 20 years’ experience in the food industry, working for large international companies and local SME’s. I started my career as a Buyer at McDonalds HQ in London and then returned home to Grimsby to worked for a series of fish companies, holding a variety of positions such as Buyer, Planner, Head of Operations, Head of Supply Chain, NPD and Purchasing.  This gives me an innate understanding of the challenge’s businesses face on a daily basis.

My role at E-Factor as the specialist GAIN Food Business Advisor allows me to use my knowledge and experience to help support local businesses. I have worked closely with start-ups in the food and hospitality sector, covering the legal aspect of setting up a food business, all the way through to an established fish processing business looking to grow, pivot and diversify.

I enjoy the variety that each day brings and love watching local entrepreneurs achieve their goals.”


Ruchita Green
Owner of Masala Masters


“E-Factor have been fantastic; I can’t thank them enough. My experience with E-Factor goes way back so for me, when I wanted to start Masala Masters, they were my first port of call.

I worked with Rachel from the early stages and her help and expertise in the area was invaluable.  She was always there with a calm and organised approach, keeping me focused.

When we first looked at my business plan, we wrote out my short-, medium- and long-term goals. Long term was to write my own cookbook, and this became a reality recently with it being published in May 2021. A dream I never thought I could achieve.

If I need business advice, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Simon Dwyer
Managing Director Grimsby FMA Ltd

“Fishmongers on the Docks and those selling online are overwhelmed with enquiries and demand. Following our work with Rachel and the video we have just launched, I’ve already had an enquiry from an individual who would like to know how to get into the industry and have his own fish van. Working with E-Factor on our social media plan, we have been able to highlight the opportunity for more independent fish vans to operate from Grimsby and drive traffic to our website

Rachel’s knowledge of the sector and understanding for fish processing makes the work we undertake together even more valuable to the local sector.”

Jo Calaby
Landlady of Kings Head at Keelby

“I don’t know where my business would have been if you hadn’t put so many businesses in a place they probably wouldn’t have reached previously.

The connection between growing food businesses wanting a platform to sell and my village pub has been invaluable. Well done Rachel! Even through these tough times you give people something to aspire to and allow them to believe in themselves.”