Do not take food and drink industries for granted, FDF tells contenders

The Food and Drink Federation has written to the remaining Conservative party leader contenders explaining how to ease the cost of living crisis while supporting the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector.

Describing how slim margins are being squeezed relentlessly by the pandemic and its impacts, and by the crisis in Ukraine, chief executive Karen Betts said all companies are doing everything they can to contain the impacts of inflation.

“We know we have a responsibility to provide good and affordable food, and we are cutting costs everywhere we can to limit price rises for shoppers,” she wrote. “But there are limits – our companies must also remain viable if they are to be a vibrant part of our economy into the future. We are now in the tenth consecutive month of food price inflation. With the cost of ingredients and energy still rising relentlessly, companies in our sector think that food price inflation still has some way to run.”

The FDF said there’s more the government must do to support the industries through the cost of living crisis to help contain price rises for households and to help both sectors emerge from the crisis in growth.

The UK’s next prime minister, is advised to support industry on:

  • easing labour shortages, for skilled and unskilled labour
  • creating agile ways of supporting our sector to boost productivity through imaginatively rolling out schemes to reduce the risk of taking on more debt
  • taxation
  • reducing the costs of regulation
  • redoubling efforts to maintain a functioning UK internal market.

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