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As our policy-making forum, Annual Conference is the key event in the Fed’s calendar and there are some big changes for this year’s event with a new venue, date, and format.

For 2022 and for the first time in several years, we are returning to Birmingham, but the event will take place in the new venue of The Vox Conference Centre, in Resorts World.

Delegates will arrive during Sunday June 19 and the event itself will run over the following two days.

Alongside the usual mix of passionate debate and presentations, there will be a trade show, a gala dinner, and some break-out sessions to alert independent retailers to exciting new opportunities.

National President Narinder Randhawa said: “Because of Covid-19, there was no conference in 2020 and we had to scale back much of the activities last year. With this new, central location and with some exciting new features, I look forward to welcoming members, guests, and suppliers to Birmingham.

“Besides showcasing all the NFRN’s achievements, we will be looking at new opportunities so we can all make more sales and profits.”

As usual, one of the main features of the conference is the election of national officials. This year’s candidates for National President and national vice president are Jason Birks and Muntazir Dipoti, respectively, while the post of national deputy vice president will be contested by Mo Razzaq and Stephen Archer.

The two members standing as trustees are Surjit Khunkhun and Pravin Chauhan.

One of the key issues coming up for debate will be the continuing fight against retail crime in all its forms, with police chief Patrick Holdaway and Sussex police and crime commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne confirmed as guest speakers.

Another major topic for discussion is the deposit return scheme (DRS) and we are pleased to announce that David Gell, policy lead for DRS at the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has also been confirmed as a speaker.

Mr Randhawa added: “This year’s Annual Conference promises to be an excellent event in what is a fantastic venue. I look forward to meeting as many members as possible and enjoying constructive and informative debates on issues that are of real importance to us all as independent retailers.”

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