FDF UK and Scotland rally to improve food affordability and health

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

FDF UK and Scotland extend vital helping hands to the food and beverage sector. Pic: GettyImages/Kelvin Murray
FDF UK and Scotland extend vital helping hands to the food and beverage sector. Pic: GettyImages/Kelvin Murray

Related tags Food and drink federation FDF Scotland Exports Inflation Reformulation for Health better for you

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) UK has published a cross-government approach to ensure the sector continues to deliver consumer choice, affordability and tangible gains for the economy, while FDF Scotland applauds the sector's steps towards health.

The FDF UK’s Trade and Investment Strategy​ includes 20 recommendations for the UK government, highlighting the importance of imports, both for the UK’s continued food supply and as a key component for innovation and the creation of jobs.

It also says exports will help deliver growth in communities across the country to help Brits see through the runaway inflation.

According to the FDF, the UK Government is poised to strike new trade deals around the world that specifically take in the need for high standards of production, environmental sustainability and animal welfare while recognising the unique features of the UK supply mix. It proposes to foster stronger ties with the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, in order for the F&B sector to play a more important role in UK exports.

Best of British

“The food and drink sector aims to offer shoppers unrivalled choice at affordable prices across a huge range of products,”​ said FDF’s CEO Karen Betts.

“Trade is an important part of that, since we rely on imports of many ingredients that aren’t produced in the UK, like spices. We also export both traditional and innovative British products around the world, from our world-famous biscuits to gluten-free foods.

“Our report looks at how government and industry put food and drink at the heart of the UK’s new, independent trade policy, and ensures this supports companies in our sector to grow and thrive. Trade is also a means of curbing rising costs, which is particularly important now at a time of soaring inflation.”

Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice MP noted the UK’s F&B sector is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined.

“There are opportunities for our food and drink businesses in markets around the world, and we want everyone to be lining up to buy British,”​ he said.

“I look forward to working with the sector to ensure that businesses across the UK can take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

Shrinking waistlines

Meanwhile, FDF Scotland is celebrating the success of its Reformulation for Health Programme​ and commends the sector for removing hundreds of millions of calories and tonnes of salt from the Scottish diet.

However, there’s still more to be done and is inviting stakeholders to join its free Showcase Event,​taking place on 16 June at the Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh.

The event examines how public health policy is sharing recipe reformulation, but also how the Reformulation for Health Programme empowers business with info and resources to make the changes. Headlining the event is Public Health Minister Maree Todd MSP and Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean, as well as a range of ingredient manufacturers including JPL Ingredient Solution, LoSalt and Univar.

“Through our Reformulation for Health Programme, we have helped a range of food and drink businesses to implement changes to their recipes that are making a real difference to the health of Scotland’s people,”​ said Joanne Burns, FDF Scotland’s Reformulation for Health manager.

“I encourage food and drink businesses to attend our showcase event to find out how we can support you to make your products healthier and in turn improve dietary health.”

Also to take the podium is Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean.

“As a chef I have an important part to play in supporting Scotland’s people to enjoy a healthy balanced diet. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and discussing how we can work together to improve the health of the nation.”

The Reformulation for Health programme is a Scottish Government-funded project providing free support to help Scottish SME food and drink manufacturers reformulate for the benefit of consumers, ranging from helping to benchmarking produce against industry standards, sourcing technical solutions, providing upskilling opportunities, connecting manufacturers with food science students and securing funding.

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