Steering Groups

FDF's strategic steering groups have been created to direct FDF's work around the three key priority areas. For a full overview of how FDF is structured, download FDF's Organisational Chart.

Food Safety and Scientific Steering Group

The safety of our products remains paramount for industry and continues to be the top priority for FDF. Manufacturers are continually vigilant to ensure product safety – whether from the threat of chemical or microbiological contamination.

FDF ensures that members stay abreast of the advances in science that change our understanding of food safety issues and we promote the need for appropriate risk assessment and risk reduction strategies by regulators. We help our members by trying to ensure that food safety incidents are handled in a proportionate way, at national and EU level, and we co-ordinate an effective industry response.

Science also brings opportunities for product and process innovation and FDF plays a key role in explaining to policy makers, regulators and opinion formers how these developments can provide real benefits for consumers.

As the body of legislation bearing down on industry continues to grow, we work closely with our European counterpart, FoodDrinkEurope, to ensure that the industry's voice is heard in the right places and at the right time within the EU.

Our Food Safety and Scientific Steering Group represents, promotes and safeguards the interests of the UK food industry in relation to scientific issues and regulatory developments.

There are six issue-led Committees, one Steering Group, one Working Group and several electronic working groups to facilitate more detailed discussion of specific issues.

  • Food Contact Materials
  • Food Hygiene
  • Food Ingredients
  • Food Law and Labelling
  • Residues and Contaminants
  • Allergens Steering Group
  • Emerging Issues & Incident Management Working Group
  • Specific Electronic Working Groups: Analysis and Measurement, Pesticides, Process Contaminants, Technical Standards

The Nutrition Committee now reports to the Health and Wellbeing Steering Group but will maintain close links with the Food Safety and Scientific Steering Group and FS3G members will be consulted in the event that issues of a technical or scientific nature require additional advice.


Health and Wellbeing Steering Group

Industry continues to respond to society's concerns about the health of the nation, particularly in relation to rising obesity levels, and we are absolutely committed to playing a positive role in this debate.

The aim of our Health and Wellbeing Steering Group is to work constructively with Government, regulators and others to help find solutions to the complex issues at the heart of the diet and health challenge here in the UK. Much progress has been made in delivering on these commitments, particularly in areas such as front-of-pack nutrition labelling and product reformulation, where the UK is widely acknowledged to be leading the world. Our members have also been implementing workplace wellbeing schemes that go way beyond the traditional health and safety agenda to focus on the health of their employees.

Key priorities for the Steering Group include:

  • To engage positively with Government and stakeholders in the ongoing development of the Public Health Responsibility Deal and in the Scottish Government's Supporting Healthy Choices Framework.
  • To help consumers construct a healthy balanced diet. This involves reformulation policies, but also considers wider aspects of diet and how we communicate about our products.
  • To develop responsible advertising and marketing to children policies.
  • To ensure ongoing promotion of innovative workplace wellbeing approaches and healthy community based approaches.

FDF's Nutrition Committee reports to the Health and Wellbeing Steering Group.


Sustainability Steering Group

A widely accepted definition of sustainability is 'achieving a better quality of life for everyone, now and for future generations to come'. This entails making economic, environmental and social progress all at the same time.

FDF has long been a champion of sustainability. Indeed, we developed a sustainability strategy for the food and drink manufacturing sector in 2002 – which Defra subsequently built on and extended to all sectors beyond the farmgate.

The Sustainability Steering Group oversees FDF's sustainability policy. The Group's sustainability work includes oversight of FDF progress towards implementing its Five-Fold Environmental Ambitions:


Competitiveness Steering Group

The main role of the Competitiveness Steering Group is to oversee the policy areas and actions linked to boosting productivity levels, improving industry competitiveness and delivering growth of 20% by 2020.

The Group is chaired by Jon Woods of Coca Cola Great Britain and is made up of senior people from across the industry. It works closely with the government departments for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) focusing on key policy frameworks such as HMT/BIS Productivity Plan 2015 and Defra Food & Farming Plan 2016.

The Competitiveness Business Plan for 2016-2020 focusses on implementing a set of actions focused on four areas:


Ensure our sector is able to attract and develop talent; continue to promote the sector as a career of first choice; and upskilling of our existing workforce.

  • Launch a long-term industry action plan to deliver a real step change in skills and talent in the UK food and drink manufacturing sector within the context of the Government's productivity review.
  • Apprenticeships - Actively engage with BIS to ensure the Apprenticeship Levy is an opportunity for food and drink manufacturing to grow their apprentice numbers in line with FDF's ambition of 3% of food and drink manufacturing workforce are apprentices by 2020.
  • Graduate Excellence - Work with Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) to encourage more students to study food engineering
  • Raise awareness of opportunities in the industry for young people through FDF's careers campaign


Support food and drink export growth, increasing the number of companies exporting and driving awareness of the exporting opportunity.

  • Actively engage with Defra and UKTI to launch a new Export Action Plan through the Food and Drink Export Forum later this year
  • Partner with Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) and UKTI to promote export growth
  • Engage with Open to Export (OTE) to showcase food and drink export success

More information about our exports work.

R&D and Innovation

Improving delivery mechanisms to ensure UK is an attractive place for food and drink R&D investment and that public R&D funding reflects the needs of food & drink manufacturing

  • Work in partnership with SHU to bring together industry to collaborate and bid for funding to improve engineering performance in food and drink manufacturing via the National Centre of Excellence in Food Engineering.
  • Bring industry and the public sector together to develop innovation partnerships
  • Ensure proper manufacturing representation on Agri-Food Tech Council and the Food Innovation Network

Supply Chain

Ensure that UK food and drink manufacturers have access to: raw materials at competitive prices; a fair and balanced food supply chain particularly for SMEs who have less bargaining power; and a flexible and safe workforce.


Last reviewed: 21 Jun 2016