As a true foodie, Jane has an eclectic list of favourites, from great British cheeses served with local honey to ingredients such as tamarind which transform flavours of so many dishes from spicy Indian snacks to meatballs. With a Glasgow upbringing it was probably inevitable Jane would be passionate about ice-cream, inspired by the fabulous choice of flavour and textures in the many Italian city cafes whose owners brought their speciality skills with them.
Jane’s a firm believer in the fact that there’s a place on our high streets and in our markets for both large multi-branched and small independent retailers. Jane’s convinced that whilst small specialists should be protected by the communities they serve, they themselves must also move with the times and give customers what they want – quality, convenience, provenance, competitive pricing and good service. Multiple retailers are great at selling large brands that do huge volumes, small stores are better placed to work in partnership with artisan producers, local growers, and bringing new products to market.
Actively involved in media presentation and exhibition organisation she has an enviable reputation for mentoring products to award-winning status. She is in much demand to sit on judging panels at national and international food events and is a strong advocate for continual improvement in education and training.
Recently Jane took on a project working with Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College employing her commercial background, industry knowledge and people management skills in a new area, with great result, demonstrating that skill sets should never be restricted to just one area.
Her strong personality, trenchant views, unquenchable sense of humour and ability to deal with anything thrown at a moment’s notice, make her a sought after speaker at both food and other commercial events and a hot favourite of programme makers and researchers. It’s been said, ‘Jane has a knack of evoking tastes, flavours and smells that instantly has an audiences’ mouth watering and leaves them licking their lips and asking for more!’ Indeed it is said a client recently commented ‘What Jane Milton doesn’t know about the food industry, simply isn’t worth knowing!’
Jane established and is the driving force behind The Food Network, the industry information hub – the source of all solutions for anyone who wants to know anything about any aspect of the food business. She’s also a serial networker, always able to put people in touch with exactly who they need, exactly when they need them. Jane is unflappable, whatever the circumstance – and her careers landed her in some pretty odd situations from time to time - and it’s this, combined with her wealth of professional knowledge that’s put many a famous brand on the high road to success. Her client list includes Waitrose, Old El Paso, Dorling Kindersley, Harrods and GMTV as well as smaller independent entrepreneurial food companies and she has an uncanny instinct for knowing just which products will fly and which won’t.
Born near Glasgow, Jane’s food interest was sparked early by her grandmother’s constant quest for ‘new and tasty’. Aged 10 and already, she says, somewhat strong willed, Jane knew she was headed for the food industry, and whilst her school consistently tried to steer her towards academia, she had a Home Economics degree in her sights.
Meeting equally passionate food producers from all over the World is one of the perks of the job and just earlier his year, in the Caymans Jane was absorbing new ideas, flavours and ingredients for fabulous Caribbean specialities
As a past judge on the Quality Food Awards and the Free From Awards Jane has to stay ahead of all the latest trends and in touch with major retailers, producers, new launches, innovations and developments which means days spent with colleagues, sharing opinions and always she says, learning new things.
Not Just Food has, this year, won the contract to run the Quality Food Awards judging process for the next 3 years. Jane also sits on the advisory group for the Speciality and Fine Food Fair, organising all the speakers for the show’s Business Forum.
This year Jane was delighted to be asked by LOCOG to be part of their Food Innovation Group helping to ensure the Olympics in 2012 is an accurate showcase of all that’s great about UK food and producers.
www.notjustfood.co.uk Identifying Opportunities, Maximising Results
www.thefoodnetwork.co.uk - Helping food businesses connect.
Follow Jane on Twitter http://twitter.com/foodnetworking