Nicola Thomas
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Food and Drink Exporters Association

Director・ Dec 2014 - Present · 8 yrs

  • I lead the FDEA's Export Accelerator Supports, helping members fast-track their international sales growth through:
  • Leading roundtables and workshops on all aspects of overseas business development
  • Bespoke export capability assessments, market entry plans and distributor searches.
  • Making the right connections across our international and export support networks
  • Creating and leading special interest cohorts to tackle current and emerging barriers to export success
  • Designing and delivering 1-2-many export skills training programmes

The FDEA is the UK Trade Association for businesses involved in food and drink exporting. We are a not for profit organisation with members from across the UK food and drink sector, export service providers and in-market sales and marketing experts. Membership allows companies to join a community of like-minded exporters and to benefit from our extensive experience and expertise in international business development.

A La Carte Consulting Ltd

MD ・ Sep 1998 - Present

  • International B2B development specialists for the food and drink sector – supporting manufacturers, wholesalers, professional service firms and government agencies.
  • Working alongside food and drink company owners and management teams as an adviser and mentor to accelerate sustainable export growth. Focus areas include prioritising markets and sales channels, finding and managing best-fit commercial partners and developing international sales & marketing capabilities.
  • Retained by the Welsh Government since 2010 to deliver bespoke export market selection and market entry supports for food and drink producers. Over 50 companies advised to date.
  • Design and delivery of tailored supports for the DIT Export Academy including a Masterclass series to enable new exporters prepare their 2021/22 Action Plans and creation of an export capability assessment training module.


Director・ Jul 2015 - Present

  • Joint responsibility for managing the range of interests of circa 90 holiday property owners at Maenporth and for preserving the beauty and tranquility of the 29 acre coastal site.

Santander UK

Head of Food and Drink Sector・ Jan 2017 - Feb 2018

  • Recruited by the Bank to set its food and drink sector strategy and support customers and prospects to grow internationally:
  • Designed and led customer and prospect export strategy sessions
  • Built internal teams’ international trading knowledge and capability through coaching, mentoring and thought leadership activities.
  • Set up & ran a CEO leaders club for high potential exporters Subsequently retained as the Bank’s food and drink sector adviser.
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