FDF Scotland writes to the First Minister setting out urgent action needed to support our food and drink manufacturers

24 April 2023

Today, Food and Drink Federation Scotland has written a letter to the First Minister setting out the urgent action needed from the Scottish Government to support Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers during these challenging times.


The First Minister
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Via email to: firstminister@gov.scot

24 April 2023

Dear First Minister,

Food and drink inflation has hit a record high of 19.2% with devastating impacts on Scottish households and businesses. This is escalating food insecurity in Scottish households and damages the resilience of Scotland’s food and drink industry. Our food and drink manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep the price of food and drink affordable, absorbing rising input costs where possible. Now we need urgent action from the Scottish Government to support a hard-pressed sector.

Our members have been heartened to hear your commitment to a new deal for Scottish businesses during these challenging times.

It is imperative that Food and Drink Federation Scotland – who represents more than a quarter of Scotland’s total manufacturing industry – are included in any future discussions.

There are policies that will impact the viability of our vital food and drink producers that need to be reviewed urgently.

We ask the Scottish Government to continue to work in partnership with Scotland’s food and drink industry to improve the dietary health of our people by: 

  • Stopping plans to ban temporary price reductions. These proposals will further drive-up food prices, disproportionately impacting lower income households who spend a higher proportion of their income on food. Promotions have many benefits including encouraging shoppers to switch to healthier products or lower calorie versions of their favourite foods. We are concerned that the proposals set out will discourage innovation by companies. 
  • Continue to fund our Reformulation for Health Programme. Since its launch in 2019, this programme has removed hundreds of millions of calories from everyday food and drink. Continued support will help more food producers make their food healthier and consumers eat more healthily.

The wealth of packaging policy coming from both the Scottish and UK Governments is a complete disaster. We specifically call on the Scottish Government to: 

  • Work with our soft drinks producers to ensure a successful Deposit Return Scheme that retains the confidence of our industry and the public.
  • Scrap plans for food and drink producers to pay for cleaning up of illegal ground littering in Scotland as part of the wider Extended Producer Responsibility policy.

It would be great to discuss these issues with you in person. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, 

David Thomson
Chief Executive Officer
Food and Drink Federation Scotland

cc Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, via email to: cabsecwefwe@gov.scot
cc Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, via email to: cabsecralri@gov.scot
cc Jenni Minto MSP, Minister for Public Health and Women's Health, via email to: ministerphwh@gov.scot
cc Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, via email to: cabsecnrhsc@gov.scot
cc Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, via email to: ministerforgsceb@gov.scot
cc Màiri McAllan MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, via email to: cabsecnzjt@gov.scot  

For more information or for media opportunities, please contact kirsty.tinsdale@fdfscotland.org.uk / 07508 303 736.