The FDF responds to the UK Government's Food Strategy
13 June 2022
The Food and Drink Federation CEO Karen Betts gives her reaction following the publication of the Government Food Strategy
Food and Drink Federation Chief Executive Karen Betts said:
“We welcome the UK Government’s new Food Strategy, which is an endorsement of the success and centrality of the UK’s food industry, from farming to food manufacturing, retail and hospitality.
The UK’s food industry is hard-working and resilient, consistently producing high quality, affordable and accessible food found in households right across the UK every day, and this was never more visible than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our industry is also a significant employer, providing jobs and careers at every entry level in communities the length of the country, including in areas where good jobs would otherwise be scarce. We also have a track record in investing in innovation over many decades, and as such make some of the UK’s much loved, most recognisable and durable brands – from biscuits to preserves, sauces, free-from foods and whisky.
We therefore very much support the commitment to put British food and drink at the heart of UK Government policy. With the right policy frameworks and the right support from government, our industry can provide unmatched support for Levelling-Up, and benefit from growing exports while optimising imports. The Government also has the industry’s support in developing ways to help people live healthier and more balanced lifestyles, and the industry’s Action on Fibre initiative and reformulation programmes are evidence of our support to date.
But there is more the Government can do – helping our sector to invest in the technologies that drive productivity, particularly in a very tight labour market, and ensuring that regulation – such as shaping new household recycling systems so they genuinely drive re-use in an efficient way - will be critical if the government is not going to drive extra costs into food manufacturing at a time of soaring inflation. The UK Government must also work hand-in-hand with the Devolved Administrations to ensure that different policies affecting our sector don’t end up unnecessarily costing households more.”