About the FDF Centenary
The Food Manufacturers' Federation (FMF), formed as an unincorporated
association in 1913, later joined with the Food and Drink Industry Council to
Food and Drink Federation (FDF). Run by our members for our members, since its
formation the Food and Drink Federation has represented the views of the
government and helped companies to understand the legislative landscape.
Throughout the last 100 years manufacturers have built well-known brands and
developed new techniques, processes and products to respond to consumer demands
greater convenience, longer shelf-life and increasingly healthy products.
Today, as the UK's largest manufacturing sector, the industry continues to
produce some of the world's best-loved brands and plays a vital role in
the economy through its on-going efforts to promote growth, create jobs and
boost exports. To deliver that growth sustainably, FDF members are leading the
in reducing the impact of their production on the environment while playing a
full part in improving the nation's health.
Through 2013 we will celebrate everything the industry and the Federation has
achieved in the last century. Taking our inspiration from the past we'll also
looking to the future with a continued focus on how we can create the right
environment for our members' businesses to thrive, working together with
to overcome the challenges to growth and keeping the UK at the forefront of
product and process innovation.
During 2013 the Food and Drink Federation celebrates its 100th birthday. It has
seen a century of awesome innovation and the development of iconic, much-loved
As part of the FDF's centenary this timeline catalogues the key developments in
food and drink manufacturing from the last 100 years and beyond and explains
these have transformed consumers' lives. Innovations in products, processes and
packaging have made our food increasingly affordable, convenient, healthy and
safe while helping to reduce waste and conserve scarce resources. Statutory and
voluntary regulation has improved standards and bolstered consumer confidence
the sector, and industry initiatives have sought to bring manufacturers
to tackle societal concerns for the environment and public health.
Breaking these developments down into key areas, the timeline chronicles how
Britain's largest manufacturing sector has made packaged and prepared foods
increasingly affordable, convenient, nutritious, safe and sustainable.
Affordable with an ever greater choice – Manufacturers have been part of a whole supply chain responsive to the
demands for increasingly affordable food and a greater choice of products.
Manufacturers have invested in new technologies which have added value to raw
that would have previously been wasted, increased the shelf life of products
improved efficiency within factories and in supply chains. As a result the cost
food has risen much more slowly than incomes so that today consumers spend a
much smaller proportion of their income on food than they did 100 years ago.
Convenient – A whole host of changes in processing and manufacturing throughout the 20th
century have made the purchase, storage and preparation of food more
From the introduction of individually packaged goods throughout the Victorian
era to the invention of the microwave oven, innovation has made consumers'
easier and given them back that most precious of commodities – time.
Nutritious – Early in the last century, an improved understanding of nutrition led
manufacturers to begin to incorporate vitamins and minerals into their
consumers wanted to eat more healthily, manufacturers also produced new product
ranges lower in fat and salt and often with increased fibre. Those choices were
made easier with the advent of better labelling and the introduction of easy to
understand Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA's) displayed on the front of packs.
recently, recognising that public health is everybody's business, the industry
begun to reformulate old favourites so that these products are lower in salt
Safe – Today, we take the safety and integrity of our food for granted but 100 years
ago with many products sold loose, without any indication of their age and with
understanding of food science in its infancy, it was a different picture.
Manufacturers embraced new technologies and methods of preparation to help to
dramatically reduce food-borne illnesses. Underpinning these moves, Government
driven changes with landmark legislation and at the end of the last century
created the Food Standards Agency (FSA), an independent body to oversee food
Sustainable – Manufacturers recognised that they needed to respond to concerns about the
environmental impact of their products. Concentrating initially on the way that
they use resources within their own factories, the focus has more recently been
how manufacturers can help to reduce their impacts along the length of the
supply chain. By sourcing sustainably, helping agricultural suppliers to reduce
water use, collaborating with other manufacturers and customers to use
more efficiently and making it easier for consumers to live more sustainable
lives, manufacturers are delivering sustainable growth.
Videos of congratulations from Prime Minister, David Cameron and Leader of
Opposition, Ed Miliband
View the recorded messages from Prime Minister, David Cameron and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband congratulating FDF on our centenary and the industry for its achievements.
Celebrating Our People
Our people have been at the heart of everything we achieve. Responding to the
demands of our customers, embracing innovation and adopting new techniques,
committed individuals and teams have created and brought to market an amazing range of
products and transformed consumers' lives beyond all recognition. Every day food
scientists, engineers, marketeers, logistics experts and many others strive to
get great value, top quality products on to retailers' shelves.
This publication tells some of those stories, shows how important skilled and
talented people are to the future success and brings to life the rewarding careers
that are available in food and drink manufacturing.
View the Celebrating Our People publication
Follow our tweets
Follow us at @Foodanddrinkfed. If you want to catch up with our latest FDF Centenary tweets, then simply
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For more details of how you can get involved please contact FDF at Kay.Relph@fdf.org.uk
Make a contribution to the timeline
If you'd like to make a contribution to the timeline please use the form below.
Last reviewed: 16 Jul 2013