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.


Diet and Health Committee

The aim of our Diet and Health Committee is to work constructively with Government, regulators and other stakeholders 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, responsible marketing 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 Committee include:

  • To engage positively with Government and stakeholders to help deliver improvements in public health and champion voluntary approaches.
  • 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 Diet and Health Committee.


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, improving industry competitiveness and delivering growth. This is also within the context of FDF's work to ensure the best possible new UK-EU relationship to support growth and jobs in the UK's food and drink industry.

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, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) focusing on key policy frameworks such as the Government's Industrial Strategy.

The Competitiveness Business Plan for 2017-2020 focusses on implementing a set of actions focused on four areas:


Ensure the sector can attract and develop talent that it needs and has continued access to a safe, skilled and flexible workforce.

  • Ambition to grow FDM apprentice workforce from 1% to 3% by 2020.
  • Improve Apprenticeship uptake and quality
  • Develop talent pipeline through food engineering and technology courses incl. degree apprenticeships
  • Safe and flexible workforce through employment and occupational health and safety policy work


Raise profile of food and drink exports and secure Government support to increase the number of first time exporters.

  • Ambition to grow value-added food and drink exports by a third by 2020
  • Deliver the Food & Drink (F&D) International Export Action Plan
  • Work in partnership with FDEA to promote British F&D exports and support new / existing exporters

More information about our exports work.


Ensure the sector can invest in innovation and automation to grow their businesses and improve their productivity.

  • Improve food and drink engineering capability and productivity performance through the National Centre for Food Engineering in Sheffield and other Centres of Excellence

Supply Chain

Ensure the sector can operate within a fair and balanced food supply chain; and support the wider industry to grow a more competitive and productive supply base.

  • A fair and balanced supply chain through Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) and prompt payments
  • Support the wider food and drink industry to grow a more competitive and productive supply base.


Last reviewed: 10 Oct 2017