A collective of more than 30 organisations from across the UK’s food and drink supply chain, including the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), have today published A Recipe for Growth, Prosperity and Sustainability: the UK Food and Drink Industry’s Plan for Success, a call-to-action for governments to support and champion the UK’s largest industry.
This is the first time partners across the supply chain have joined forces to collectively set out policy priorities to elected politicians across the UK.
The publication sets out a clear vision for how for policymakers across Whitehall and the devolved nations can support the industry, which contributes £121bn to the economy, and ensure the UK food chain is the most dynamic and competitive in the world.
It is hoped that the publication will provide ‘food-for-thought’, as the UK Government begins drawing up plans for a holistic National Food Strategy, with a focus on post-Brexit food policy.
The Plan for Success is broken down into policy areas based around topics including:
- Future regulation and trade policy
- Tackling obesity
- Developing skills and talent
- Investing in exports and innovation
- Environmental sustainability
It provides suggestions on how governments across the UK can work with the industry to support evidence-based interventions to address unprecedented threats such as climate change and the obesity challenge. It also includes proposals that would unlock the growth and productivity potential of the sector.
NIFDA’s Executive Director, Michael Bell, commented:
“Along with leading food and drink organisations across the UK, NIFDA is backing the UK Food and Drink Industry’s Plan for Success and calling on the government to work with us to help ensure the future success of the food and drink sector, as well as safeguarding it against uncertainty in the period following the UK’s exit from the EU.
“Food and Drink is a £5 billion industry in Northern Ireland and is the region’s largest manufacturer and a leading exporter. The sector accounts for over 100,000 jobs – almost a fifth of our overall private sector employment. It is critical that the government recognises that food is a public good which delivers wider societal and economic benefits.”
FDF Chief Executive Ian Wright CBE said:
“Ahead of the upcoming National Food Strategy, the UK Food and Drink Industry’s Plan for Success demonstrates that our industry is ready and willing to deliver economic growth, healthier consumption, environmental benefits, and higher skilled jobs that will benefit every community. Now we need governments across the UK to work with us in partnership to deliver a thriving UK food and drink industry.
“The calamitous struggle of Brexit must end – whoever the Prime Minister. Then we must look to the future and how to deliver success for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, the four million people who work in food and drink and this industry which is at the heart of our national life.”
The UK Food and Drink Industry’s Plan for Success is available here https://www.fdf.org.uk/uk-food-drink-industry-plan-for-success.aspx