The Food and Drink Federation has called on businesses on UK food and drink makers to unite in the face of shared challenges, and do more to trumpet the sector's successes and contributions to consumers, the community and the national economy.
At the FDF Food and Drink Industry Dinner at the Hilton Park Lane, London this week, more than 500 guests from industry, government and the media heard rallying speeches from FDF president, Dame Fiona Kendrick CBE and FDF director general, Ian Wright CBE.
Environment Secretary Liz Truss welcomed guests to the event, and columnist and associate editor of The Times, Daniel Finkelstein gave an entertaining and engaging keynote address.
Addressing attendees of the evening, Dame Fiona Kendrick, CEO of Nestlé UK & Ireland and FDF president, said: “With productivity rightly at the heart of the economic agenda, it’s vital that food and drink manufacturers position themselves as leaders in turning the nation’s productivity around.
“This is a long game, and there is much to do, but our vibrant sector has great stories to tell on investment; apprenticeships; technology; innovation, and more.
Long term successes, such as that of our strong sustainability performance, are what make our industry the national asset that it is. And it is of course our skilled and committed people who are at the heart of our sector’s achievements.”
UK food & drink exports
The Industry Dinner followed the recent publication of new guidance rolled out to food and drink manufacturers today to help existing and would-be exporters to compete in the fiercely competitive global marketplace.
‘Exports – Five Steps to Food and Drink Exporting Success’ was developed by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) as part of an enhanced partnership to help more of Britain’s 6,500 producers to export.
The guide provides useful information and tips on how food and drink manufacturers can begin exporting to foreign markets, including details of necessary research, and how to create exporting opportunities and useful contacts.
FDF has set an ambition to grow value-added food and drink exports by a third to achieve a total value of £6bn by 2020, with regular joint activity and promotions between FDF and FDEA a key strand of FDF’s efforts to achieve that goal.