|News by industry|
|Coffee, tea, soft drink, water|
|Friday, April 17, 2009||14:08|
Speaking in advance of next week’s Budget announcement, Melanie Leech, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), said:
“Food security is at the top of the agenda nationally and globally. This must be the year that the Chancellor recognises the strategic importance of the food and drink manufacturing industry - the UK’s largest manufacturing sector (1), giving a clear signal of confidence to investors and potential industry entrants alike.
“Our member companies tell us that unwarranted and poorly-implemented regulation is the biggest threat to their competitive position – including that which is disguised as ‘voluntary’ measures. We must halt the tide of unnecessary bureaucracy: what’s happened to the Regulatory Budgets that were launched last year as one way of controlling regulation?
“The Chancellor must also provide the right fiscal measures to support the industry through the economic downturn. We need clarity over issues such as trade credit insurance and a pragmatic approach to employment issues - such as a three year phase-in for the EU Temporary Agency Workers Directive. Plans to increase employers’ National Insurance contributions in 2011 should not go ahead at this stage.
“If, as widely expected, the Chancellor announces a ‘green budget’, the Government must not rely on headline-grabbing initiatives such as tax breaks for electric cars. We need a stimulus package to support our members’ commitment through FDF’s ground-breaking Five-Fold Environmental Ambition (2), to reduce their environmental impact. We need investment in a national infrastructure on energy from waste – for example through anaerobic digestion - and combined heat and power, and would welcome Government incentives to encourage industry to take these up.
“We also need financial incentives to encourage businesses to invest in key capital improvements earlier than they will otherwise be able to in the current economic climate. And to invest in the skills of the future, including continued efforts to tackle the shortage of food scientists, engineers and technologists and flexibilities in the Train to Gain Programme to support an industry on which the country’s future food security and prosperity depends.”
For more information, please contact Keren McCarron or Rebecca Wilhelm on 020 7420 7132/7140
Notes to editors:
1. The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK, with a turnover of £72.6bn and a gross value added of £21.6bn, accounting for 14% of the total manufacturing sector. The industry employs some 440,000 people. This represents 14% of the manufacturing workforce in the UK.
2. For further information about FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition, visit: http://www.fdf.org.uk/environment_progress_report.aspx.
3. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit: www.fdf.org.uk.
|Name: Nicki Hunt|
|Company: Food and Drink Federation (FDF)|
|Address: 6 Catherine Street - WC2B 5JJ London|
|Country: UNITED KINGDOM|
|Phone: +44 (0)20 7420 7132|
|Fax: +44 (0)20 7836 0580|