Where are they now?

2013 winners – Harper Adams – “More than meat pies”, a ready meal offal pie consisting of various types of offal, vegetables and potatoes.

Charlotte Reynold, Founder of Blooming Foods Ltd

I entered Ecotrophelia back in 2012 when I had just begun my degree in BSc Food and Consumer Studies. Having trained as a chef prior to university I was excited to be creating a food product rather than a dish in a restaurant, especially one that aligned with my personal values and passion for addressing future food security and eco-innovative focussed solutions.

The competition itself was brilliant, we had a great product but we also had a great team that complemented each other’s skills. Being the first UK team to win the UK heats was the boost I needed.

Since Ecotrophelia my love for eco-innovative products made it clear that I wanted to focus my final year dissertation on the same issue. That year was also declared the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations and the Global Pulse Confederation launched an international competition focussing on pulse food innovations. The confidence and experience I gained from Ecotrophelia enabled me to create lupin crisp-like snacks, which I aptly named Blooming Food Lupin Bites. The lupin snacks won this global competition and saw me travel across the world showcasing a product that addresses issues such as a providing a convenient protein alternative for an ever growing population, utilising the functionality of an elusive pulse and celebrate the eco credentials of pulses and grain legumes.

Since graduating I have started Blooming Food as a business and I am on track to launch in the UK.

I already possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity but Ecotrophelia provided me with a skill set, invaluable experience, network and confidence to pursue my love of eco-innovative food.

Learn more about Charlotte and Blooming Food’s Lupin Bites:  https://youtu.be/H4bTg1tDYX8#

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Mike Rudge, Graduate Trainee, International Procurement and Logistics

I competed in the Ecotrophelia competition in 2013 alongside eight of my peers from Harper Adams University. The competition was a great opportunity to implement everything we were learning in our studies and apply it to a real life business scenario. The competition challenged us to research into all elements of a business plan, from development and processing to pricing and marketing. We were very proud to win the UK heats and represent our country for the first time in the European leg of the competition.

Not only was the competition a great development of my skills and the theory learnt in my degree but it meant for greater networking in the wider industry and good discussion topic at interviews.

After Ecotrophelia I was invited to sit on a panel of industry professional at the Food Manufacturers ‘Big Video Debate’ at Foodex 2014 to discuss ‘Plugging the skills gap’, as well as other IFST events; these helped boost my skills and experience.

I would highly recommend Ecotrophelia to anyone wanting to challenge themselves and project themselves into this industry.

I am now completing a Graduate training program with International Procurement and Logistics, completing a range of placements, within a large fast-paced business focusing on saving money for ASDA customers everyday.

Other winning team members have also gone on to take up:-

  • Product developer roles with leading global suppliers to the foodservice, in-store bakeries, retail and industrial marketplaces
  • Food technologist roles with research bodies and global food and drink corporations
  • Graduate trainee roles with supermarket chains
  • Commercial roles with international manufacturers of fresh prepared foods
  • PhD studentships to pursue their interest further.

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