THE MOST powerful person in UK hospitality has claimed that the sector doesn’t get enough recognition and must do more to support British farmers.
Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings (WSH), the holding company of leading independent hospitality and retail companies such as BaxterStorey and Benugo, last week addressed the 300 members of the food and drink industry with a lecture at The Savoy.
Storey, who was recently named 'Most Powerful Person in UK Hospitality' – and knocking Jamie Oliver off the top spot for the first time in two years – was invited to give a presentation on the motivations and strategies that have shaped his 40-year strong career.
Storey used his talk to appeal to government to recognise the "gem" that they have in the hospitality industry. Quoting the Oxford Economics research, published earlier this month and commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), he highlighted the generation of 153,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2012, which accounted for 28% of all new jobs in the UK in the period.
He also used the Savoy Lecture platform to urge fellow industry leaders to unite to deliver a sustainable supply chain that commands a fair price for quality and traceability. He called for more support for Britain's farmers, artisans and suppliers to ensure strength in the supply chain that, amongst other things, will better insure the UK's businesses against incidents such as the recent horse meat scandal.
Commenting afterwards, he said: “Great achievements start with small steps and I wanted to use my presentation as a way to get people talking about a strategic vision for our industry. Not just one narrow sector but the whole hospitality and tourism industry. Hopefully I achieved that."