News article

15 March 2016

FDF members overwhelmingly endorse UK remaining in EU

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Britain's leading food and drink manufacturers have given an overwhelming endorsement to the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union.

A comprehensive poll of members carried out by the Food and Drink Federation saw more than two thirds (71%) of those responding support the 'remain' option. A further 17% responded 'my company chooses not to express a preference' while 12% expressed support for the 'leave' option. The response rate was 50%.

Ian Wright CBE, director general of FDF, said:

“71% of FDF members who voted believe the interests of their business will be best served by the UK voting to remain in the European Union. Members identified the single market, access to raw materials and the free movement of labour among key considerations in coming to their view.

“FDF members also helped to identify priorities for ongoing EU reform that would boost our sector's long term competitiveness. These included increasing access to non-EU markets to boost exports of finished goods and ensure imports of required ingredients, safeguarding free movement of labour within the EU and tackling unnecessary red tape, in particular to ensure consistent interpretation and implementation of EU employment regulation.

“Of course, FDF is a representative of all of its members; so we completely respect those (17% of those voting) whose business chose not express a preference and those (12% of those voting) who supported the 'leave' option. We speak on behalf of our membership as a whole, not on behalf of any single member company.

“I am delighted that our Executive Committee felt strongly that we should have a clear point of view on the most important issues facing our industry. Few are more important than the EU referendum and our point of view is clear – the UK should remain a member!”

More Information

FDF Membership
Our membership is made up of a wide range of companies and trade associations, from large international food and drink manufacturers with long-established brands to small companies manufacturing organic products.

The majority of companies included in our survey were small and medium sized businesses. Many of our largest manufacturers are parent companies of multiple subsidiaries and FDF's membership totals nearly 300 companies. In addition, we also represent companies from a further 15 sectors that are associate members of FDF.

FDF is not planning to register as a registered campaigner with the Electoral Commission. FDF will remain compliant with Electoral Commission rules while continuing to represent the views of its members in the referendum debate

Contact Tim Rycroft, Corporate Affairs Division, at: tim.rycroft@fdf.org.uk, or 020 7420 7125.

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