Food and Drink Federation president Jim Moseley has told food industry executives at a members' dinner that he wants the Government to show far greater ambition for the food manufacturing sector.
The FDF annual president’s dinner was attended by over 200 parliamentarians, food manufacturing companies, media, education and science organisations.
As it becomes clear that manufacturers are becoming ever more responsible for hauling the UK out of the recession, trade organisation representatives and companies argue that the government should pay greater attention to supporting growth in the sector.
Mr Moseley said: “Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry and a major employer. We are making a significant contribution to rebalancing the UK economy and filling the void left by the financial sector.”
Moseley commented on the resilience of manufacturing compared to the financial sector, and said he wanted to see a continued focus on innovation and the creation of high-value food and drink products in particular.
He said that while the UK is making progress in this regard the general consensus is that we can do more: “Across the globe we know that there will be millions of new consumers for the high value added food and drink products that we produce,” he said. “To fight off stiff competition from the emerging economies and take advantage of the opportunities of these new markets, the UK has to stay at the forefront of innovation through new technologies, new products and processes.”
As a guest of honour at the dinner, Dr Vince Cable said: “We have got to produce a model of growth that we can sustain, by shifting away from our excessive dependency on banking to manufacturing, from home markets to exports. Your sector is key to this.”
Excessive regulation and taxes has long been an issue of concern for those in the food and drink sub-sector. Companies facing exorbitant input costs and excessive red tape are increasingly seeing better conditions in mainland Europe, and even further abroad.