HAMPSHIRE Fare, with corporate partner Paris Smith, held its inaugural legal seminar at Rownhams House in Southampton.

The seminar, on November 1, is the first in a new series to advise food businesses about legal matters, and was free to Hampshire Fare members.

Topics included Why Should Your Business Succeed?, Protecting Your Brand & GDPR, Essential Employment Law for Your Business, and Terms & Conditions. This was followed by opportunities to ask questions and network.

Peter Taylor, managing partner of Paris Smith, said: “As part of our corporate partnership with Hampshire Fare, we were delighted to share some of our commercial and legal knowledge with members of Hampshire Fare.

“It was a privilege to meet so many inspiring food and drink producers. The event is a key part of our alignment with Hampshire Fare which is to enable businesses and individuals to achieve their dreams, whatever those look like, and give them the tools and confidence to overcome any challenges on the journey.”

Dave Ratcliff, of Thorpe Confectionery, added: “Some brilliant speakers condensed complex subjects into bitesize pieces that helped clarify a number of questions I had. At the end of the event I felt that I had been instructed and guided, not simply talked at. As we are still in our first year of trading, I feel better placed to start identifying how these subjects affect our business as a result of this event.”

Charlotte Johnson, of Meon Valley Cider, said: “It was fantastic. It was a good, all-round update on legal issues, and I commend Paris Smith for their focus on supporting local businesses.”

Nigel Welsh, of Flack Manor Brewery, agreed, saying: “It was a great day and hugely informative about a subject we all have to get to grips with. I found it very useful – like all such subjects it can be slightly daunting. In particular, GDPR is a huge minefield and yesterday’s seminar seemed a good way of making sure we don’t trip ourselves up too much.”

Tracy Nash, commercial manager at Hampshire Fare, said: “The intention was simple – to make legal topics that need to be addressed, accessible to local businesses. Working with our corporate partner, Paris Smith, we’ve established what is intended to be the first in a series of such seminars.

“At Hampshire Fare, we hold business seminars on a regular basis for our members, but this is the first we’ve undertaken on legal topics. People appreciated complex legal issues being presented clearly, concisely and in a very accessible manner.

“The approach was relaxed, yet dynamic with lots of practical advice, and included subjects such as employment law with top tips to keep staff engaged and avoid mishaps. More than 20 businesses attended, there was a great deal of interaction and feedback from the event was superb.”