Ahead of the Chancellor’s budget announcement next week, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) chief executive, Ian Wright CBE, has urged the government to conduct an urgent review of the regulatory burdens the food and drink industry currently faces:
The food and drink industry has performed heroically during the Covid-19 crisis, ensuring the nation has been kept fed.
"Now is the moment for the government to clear the way for business to lead a bounce-back recovery.
"Rishi Sunak should announce an urgent and pragmatic review of current and planned regulation, delaying, slowing or setting aside any policies which would stand in the way of growth and innovation."
"Our analysis shows that government assessments of the impact of its regulation are often understated. Only rarely is the cumulative impact of regulation across departments taken into account.
The government’s impact assessment for its proposed promotional restrictions and a total online ban of food and drink advertising is around £260 million profit loss per year.
"Our research, as part of a report on food prices to be released later this year, suggests that figure is many times higher.
"Additional costs for food and drink manufacturers will hinder growth, divert focus and increase the price of food [a burden that falls most acutely on lower-income families]," he added.
As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink makes a unique economic and cultural contribution in each and every region of the UK.
"Now is the time for government to demonstrate its commitment to working in partnership with us to accelerate growth in our sector," he concluded.