The UK Food and Drink Industry: A 20/20 Vision for Growth
Our shared vision for the UK food and drink industry is to deliver sustainable growth of 20% by 2020.
Jim Moseley, FDF President
It's twelve months since FDF and
Government launched a shared vision to
grow food and drink manufacturing by
20% by 2020. It's been a busy year.
Through our careers campaign Taste
Success we are bringing alive the range
of opportunities our sector offers and
inspiring the next generation of food
engineers and scientists to join our
On exports, we're taking on the
world, with Ministers leading from the
front championing British food and drink,
whilst working behind the scenes to
remove the barriers to export. And we're
working together to make sure our
sector stays world class in product and
process innovation - essential to continue to satisfy our consumers at home and
abroad; whilst playing our part in increasing global food security and
View the 2012 Achievements for the 20/20 Vision for Growth
A Great British Success Story
- Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK with a turnover of
£78.7bn contributing £20bn in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.
- We have continued to grow throughout the economic downturn.
- We are the key link in a world-class highly efficient food chain.
- We buy 2/3 of what UK farmers produce.
- Exports of food and non-alcoholic drink were £12bn in 2012 and the export of value added food and drink has grown in
each of the last eight consecutive years.
- We employ up to 400,000 people right across the UK.
- We recruit at all levels from school leavers with few or no qualifications right
through to highly qualified postgraduates.
- 38% of those working in food manufacturing are qualified to A-Level or above.
educated to degree level
- 94% of employees are full time
- We produce great tasting food with many of our leading brands much-loved
- We are world-class in product quality, branding and new product development
- We create around 8,500 new products each year – leading the way in areas such as
global demand for healthier products
- We are reducing our impact on the planet through our Five-fold Environmental Ambition
Delivering Sustainable Growth
Our shared vision for the UK food and drink industry is to deliver
sustainable growth of 20% by 2020. To achieve it we need:
- A shared strategy to deliver sustainable growth and food security
- A competitive business and tax environment to attract investment
- To support the SMEs who are the backbone of our sector
- To improve productivity and strip out unnecessary costs
- To attract the best talent to our industry through an efficient pipeline
delivering employment-ready individuals
- To retain and develop our workforce
- To stay world-class in product and process innovation
- To be proactive in responding to key societal challenges such as obesity and
There is every opportunity for the UK food and drink
industry to grow sustainably:
5 Key Advantages
- Our product quality
- Our brands
- Our innovation
- Our efficiency and productivity
- Growing demand for our products
Population growth will drive demand at home and abroad. The global population is
predicted to reach 9bn by 2050 and the UK population to rise to over 71m by
Changing dietary patterns will drive demand for value added products in
developing markets and health and wellbeing products with an ageing population.
British products are reputable in key markets and we have strong global food
and drink brands.
Our fiercely competitive domestic market drives innovation and value for
We have efficient supply chains, low waste and high levels of regulatory
Working Together to Overcome Challenges
Research commissioned by FDF from Grant Thornton highlights significant challenges to growth:
Competing in global markets
Our international competitors see export as their main route to grow and
they have aggressive state-backed plans to increase their market share in
many of our target markets.
Attracting and retaining talent
We will need at least 170,300 new recruits in the next five years and face
significant skills shortages in essential disciplines.
A competitive UK business environment
Increasingly volatile and in some cases artificially high commodity prices make
it difficult to plan and erode margins.
Our SMEs find it difficult to access bank finance and existing Government
incentive schemes, and to develop their export potential.
Reducing the burden of regulation
The UK's regulatory and tax systems are acting as brakes on inward
We are already taking action to overcome these challenges:
- A new Food and Drink Export Forum co-chaired by Food and Farming Minister Jim
Paice and FDF Deputy President Paul Grimwood has developed the Exports Action
Plan - a strategy to drive forward food and drink export growth.
- UK food and drink will be showcased as part of the London 2012 Olympics.
- The Government will introduce legislation to introduce an Adjudicator
to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, to support the fair
operation of the food chain.
- FDF members have committed to double the number of apprentices in
the food and drink industry by the end of 2012, offering specific help
- FDF's careers campaign, Taste Success – A Future in Food and our schools programme in Scotland are
tackling negative perceptions of our
- The Government has awarded almost £1.7m to the food and drink industry
to deliver an action plan to up-skill our existing workers and attract new
- FDF members have committed to Graduate Excellence with the
development of an industry sponsored technical degree course offering work
experience, internships and the potential for full-time
employment at the end of the course.
- 29 FDF members have signed the Public Health Responsibility Deal and
we are committed to working in partnership with Government and
others to help individuals lead
- Through our Five-fold Environmental Ambition we have cut CO2
emissions by 25% since 1990, saved water, halved waste to landfill,
reduced packaging and made our
transport more efficient, while still
delivering increased output.
Last reviewed: 10 Jun 2015