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Inside food & drink manufacturing

Brexit Debate

As Britain prepares for Brexit, we report the latest news, views and analysis about how quitting the EU is likely to affect food and drink manufacturers.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans get mixed reception

Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech last month on the direction of travel post-Brexit, in which the UK would quit the EU Single Market, received a mixed response from business leaders and politicians.

Hard Brexit could hit UK food and drink importers

More uncertainty will be created in the currency markets, which could hit UK food and drink importers, a foreign exchange specialist has warned, after it emerged that a ‘hard Brexit’ was more likely following Prime Minister Theresa May’s 12-point plan for leaving the EU, announced last month.

Food firms face higher labour costs after Brexit

Food and drink manufacturers may face higher labour costs after Brexit, because they’ll have to compete for fewer non-UK EU workers, warns law firm DWF.

Sugar tax is a ‘blunt instrument’ against obesity

The sugar tax is a “blunt instrument” to tackle childhood obesity that “victimises” a sector already lowering sugar and calories in its products, according to law firm DWF.

Food firms are optimistic despite sector challenges

The Business Leaders’ Forum – organised by the Food Manufacture Group – showcased the optimism in the food and drink sector, despite Brexit and international challenges, according to sponsor DWF, but raised more questions than answers, said Charpak, another sponsor of the event.

Any US-UK trade deal will come at a price

Britain’s prospects of securing a trade deal with the US post-Brexit were one of the main items up for discussion (along with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) during Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with President Donald Trump last month.

Food sector’s UK workers need Brexit assurances

The GMB union has urged the government for assurances that the food sector’s UK workers won’t be caught in the crossfire of Brexit, while food manufacturers and farmers compete harder for a reduced number of non-UK EU nationals.

Brexit White Paper response focuses on trade and labour

The government has been warned against relying solely on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to ensure Britain’s export success after Brexit.

Food industry urged to find one voice on Brexit: NFU

National Farmers Union director general Terry Jones tells Mike Stones the food industry needs to speak with unity to make the best of Brexit.

Greencore confident of mitigating Brexit threats

Greencore said it was confident of mitigating any Brexit-related cost increases, as it reported a 9.1% rise in like-for-like sales to £417M on a constant currency basis, in the 13 weeks to December 30.

New food export markets ‘could take 10 years to develop’

New food and drink exports could take 10 years to develop, says agri-food consultancy Promar International, ahead of a trade mission to the US this week by a team from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Irish firms ‘better prepared for Brexit’: Greencore

Irish businesses – including food and drink firms – are better prepared for Brexit than their UK counterparts, according to Greencore boss Patrick Coveney.

Weetabix invests £30M but warns of price rises

Weetabix will invest £30M in its Northamptonshire factories to expand its UK and international brands, the company’s chief executive revealed, but also warned of price rises as the pound’s value falls.

FDF boss urges PM to offer labour supply assurances

The UK food industry urgently needs assurances from the prime minister about the security of EU nationals working in the UK after Brexit, says Food and Drink Federation (FDF) director general Ian Wright.

PM’s industrial strategy ‘a landmark opportunity’

The long-awaited new industrial strategy, due to be unveiled by Prime Minister Theresa May today, is “a landmark opportunity” to plan business in post-Brexit Britain, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

EU health claims process comes under fire

A lack of transparency behind the EU health claims approval process is stifling innovation and proving costly to businesses, the director of a global ingredients firm has claimed.

Finsbury Food’s UK sales fall 2.9% as pound drops

Speciality cake and bread manufacturer Finsbury Food Group reported “solid trading” in its half-year financial update, despite UK sales falling by 2.9%.

Food firms must adapt to new markets pre-Brexit

Food manufacturers must adapt to new markets ahead of Brexit, and add value wherever they can, said the Oxford Farming Conference’s chairman.

2 Sisters denies Brexit-related job losses at The Pizza Factory

2 Sisters has denied union claims that Brexit was to blame for the planned 280 job losses at The Pizza Factory.

Premier Foods starts £10M cost-cutting plan

Premier Foods has launched a £10M cost-saving plan, after it reported a 10% drop in annual expected profit in its third-quarter trading update.

Food industry’s cautious welcome to PM’s Brexit speech

Food industry organisations have cautiously welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s assurances about the right of non-UK EU workers to continue working in the UK after Brexit, in a keynote speech delivered yesterday (January 17).

The UK is to quit Single Market: PM’s Brexit speech

The UK is to quit the EU Single Market of 500M consumers – the biggest market for British food and drink exports – Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed in a keynote speech yesterday (January 17).

Irish food and drink exports top €11bn despite Brexit

Irish food and drink exports have topped €11bn (£9.76bn) annually for the first time – but the value of exports to the UK fell by 8% following currency fluctuations and the Brexit vote.

Mondelēz to increase Freddo price 20% to 30p

Mondelēz International has blamed increased costs for the expected 20% price rise of its Freddo chocolate bars to 30p this spring.

Premier Foods’s 5% price rise plan slated by union

Brexit-related food price rises must not be used as an excuse to exploit workers and customers, the GMB union urged, after Premier Foods revealed it was in talks with retailers over a 5% price rise.

Premier Foods plans price rises of about 5%

Premier Foods is in talks with retailers over raising its prices by about 5%, the food manufacturer confirmed on Tuesday (January 10).

Manufacturers expect more risks than opportunities in 2017

British manufacturers – including food and drink firms – are preparing for “another bumpy ride” in 2017, as almost half expect more risks than opportunities over the coming year, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, revealed.

Arla boss urges industry solidarity for Brexit talks

The food and farming industries must work together to protect themselves against Brexit threats, while maximising its opportunities, urges Arla Foods’s md Tomas Pietrangeli.

Migrant labour fears dominate conference tweets

Tweets criticising the government’s apparent lack of detailed planning for the food industry after Brexit dominated social media coverage of the Oxford Farming Conference. The continued availability of migrant labour was a particular concern – as our tweet selection reveals.

Food industry red tape to end after Brexit: DEFRA

Brexit will bring an end to food industry red tape, promises George Eustice, minister of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA boss tries to reassure food industry on migrant labour

Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom has tried to reassure food manufacturers and farmers worried about continued access to migrant workers after Brexit.

Scottish organic farmers urge same standards after Brexit

Organic farmers in Scotland have called for standards to remain the same after Britain quits the EU.

Happy Christmas from the Food Manufacture team

Happy Christmas from everyone at the Food Manufacture Group and best wishes for the New Year.

Foodservice leads Macphie’s sales growth

Scottish bakery ingredients supplier Macphie has reported a 7% rise in sales to £47.6M in its financial results for the year to March 2016 released today (December 23).

Barrier-free EU Single Market access is vital: CBI

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has repeated calls for barrier-free access to the EU’s Single Market after Brexit, following food industry calls for continued access to its 500M customers.

Food manufacturers face huge labour crisis

The food and drink industry is facing its worst labour shortage in over a decade, and some firms risk failing to fill vacancies in the peak demand period before Christmas, the head of a labour providers’ association has warned.

Single Market access ‘unlikely’ due to migration talks

Food and drink manufacturers should prepare to lose free access to the EU’s 500M consumers, because of the government’s insistence on controlling immigration, Walkers Shortbread md James Walker has claimed.

Boparan plans for ‘toughest’ year after sales boost

Boparan Holdings – owner of 2 Sisters Food Group – is preparing for “one of our toughest” years, warned ceo Ranjit Singh, after the food giant’s parent company reported an 11.9% rise in operating profit to £19.8M in the 13 weeks to October 29.

Brexit is ‘biggest problem in peacetime’: FDF boss

Brexit has left government and industry faced with the “most important, complex and troubling issue in peacetime history”, the boss of the food and drink sector’s biggest trade body has claimed.

Overseas investors look to UK food sector

Overseas investors are showing an increased appetite for UK and Irish food and drink firms – aided by a low pound exchange rate following the Brexit vote – but clouds are gathering on the horizon as concerns rise about the sector’s continuing access to labour from the EU.

Food and drink exports forum targets £2.9bn boost

Premier Foods and Walkers Shortbread are joining a range of food and drink manufacturers at a meeting today (December 14) organised by the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) designed to help add nearly £3bn to the sector’s export sales.

Brexit opportunities for ice cream manufacturer

Brexit will create new opportunities for UK food and drink manufacturers, claimed luxury ice cream producer Simply Ice Cream.

Premier Foods boss: Brexit supplier switch an ‘opportunity’

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is likely to result in import substitution as the cost of sourcing ingredients from overseas markets grows, Premier Foods chief executive Gavin Darby has claimed.

Food prices to rise without access to EU workers

Food prices will rise without access to non-UK EU workers, warned 32 food and drink organisations, including the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium.

Veg sector ‘most at risk’ from Brexit labour shortages

Brexit is the greatest policy challenge facing UK farmers at present, with continued uncertainty about access to the single market and huge concerns about access to workers from EU Member States – particularly within the horticulture sector, the deputy president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) has warned.

Energy investment would cut food firms’ consumption by 27%

Food and drink manufacturers could cut energy consumption by 27%, which reduce costs and environmental impacts, by increasing investment in energy technology, claims a new report from Barclays.

Brexit isn’t a threat say food firms, as shopper confidence falls

Brexit poses no threat to businesses, believes 74% of manufacturers, including food and drink firms, while consumer confidence dropped to a six-month low.

Scottish government in £3M supply chain boost

A £3M local supply chain project has been launched to help Scottish food and drink firms build connections with suppliers, processors and retailers, the Scottish government revealed on St Andrews Day (November 30).

Food coalition calls for Brexit Single Market access

Some of Britain’s biggest food businesses – including 2 Sisters, Müller and Wyke Farms – have urged the government to ensure continued access to the EU’s Single Market and labour after Brexit.

Turners sale saves bacon jobs after Brexit woes

The sale of a West Midlands bacon producer has saved the jobs of 13 employees, after the company entered liquidation last week – partly due to rising costs caused by the UK’s Brexit vote.

Extension of welfare labelling presents ‘practical challenges’

Calls for a mandatory ‘method of production’ label on meat and dairy products could be fraught with challenges, according to a leading food industry lawyer.

Tesco will delist suppliers if prices rise unnecessarily

Tesco’s chief executive has warned its food and drink suppliers that the supermarket will delist their products if they try to raise prices “without a justified reason”.

EEF welcomes Theresa May’s £2bn research fund boost

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s pledge to pump an extra £2bn a year into research and development.

Food export plan ‘must be delivered quickly’: BFFF

The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) has urged the government to deliver quickly its food and drink export plan, after a survey revealed less than half its members thought Brexit would boost export sales.

Food safety: precaution must continue post-Brexit

It is “absolutely crucial” that the UK continues to adopt a precautionary approach to food safety post-Brexit, the head of a consumer watchdog has claimed.

Toblerone change sparks social media backlash

Mondelēz International is suffering a social media backlash after changing the iconic shape of its Toblerone bar to offset rising costs.

Trump wins US election on ‘Brexit, plus, plus, plus’ platform

Billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump is to become the 45th US president – in a shock election victory, after pledging a “Brexit, plus, plus plus” to “Make America great again” – leading critics to question the impact of his presidency on world trade and economic growth.

Farming ‘catastrophe’ in store without subsidies

Domestic growers and farmers face a “catastrophe” if their subsidies are not maintained after the UK leaves the EU, the head of a logistics firm has claimed.

Brexit price rises could turn consumers to own-label

Food and drink manufacturers’ Brexit-related price rises could turn consumers to own-label brands, says Shore Capital analyst Clive Black.

Walkers and Birds Eye latest food manufacturers to hike prices

Walkers crisps and fish fingers maker Birds Eye were the latest to blame the weak pound on price increases, after they raised their prices by up to 10 % and 12% respectively.

Overseas investment boosted in UK due to weak pound

Foreign investment in UK food and drink firms accounted for more than a third of all acquisitions in the third-quarter of this year, as overseas companies look to cash in on the weak pound, which cut takeover costs by up to 20%.

2 Sisters owner reports £25M profits jump

2 Sisters’ parent company Boparan Holdings reported a 40% increase in like-for-like operating profit to £25.3M in its fourth-quarter trading update, despite the uncertain market following the Brexit vote.

PM’s Brexit plans thwarted after key court ruling

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans have been thrown into confusion after she lost a High Court battle to trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament – causing a jump in the pound’s value.

Brexit food tariff cut is ‘ludicrous utopianism’: Clegg

Brexit enthusiasts who believe leaving the EU will result in lower food and drink tariffs are suffering from “ludicrous utopianism”, the former deputy prime minister has claimed.

Kerry Group reports growth despite Brexit fears

Irish food and ingredients firm Kerry Group reported 2.2% growth in its consumer foods division in its financial update for the nine months to September 30, despite Brexit uncertainty and fluctuating currencies.

Brexit could block food firm consolidation

Brexit could derail mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the months ahead, despite the UK food industry being ripe for consolidation, a business advisory firm has warned. 

European food firms hail EU-Canada trade deal

European food and drink manufacturers’ organisation FoodDrinkEurope has welcomed the signing of an EU trade deal with Canada, viewed by some as a model for the UK’s trade arrangements with the union after Brexit.

Morrisons raises price of Marmite by 12.5%

Morrisons has raised the price of 92 Unilever products, including Marmite, just days after Tesco’s highly public row over Unilever’s price increase demands.

Scottish aquaculture gets £2.5M of EU funding

A £2.5M EU funding boost to support sustainable growth and investment in Scottish aquaculture has been unveiled by rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing.

Food safety policy to be restructured post-Brexit

The UK needs a more joined up food policy after Brexit, to overcome sustainability, obesity and food safety issues, according to Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies.

Milk price rises continue for dairy companies

Dairy processor Müller has announced a two pence per litre (2ppl) rise to its milk from December 1, to 22.95ppl, after both Arla Foods amba and First Milk announced similar price rises for November.

Retailing competition could reduce Brexit cost impacts

The food sector is so competitive that price wars between retailers may reduce the financial impact of Brexit on shoppers, said grocery think-tank IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

Government needs speedy manufacturing plan: EEF

The government needs to speed up its long-term strategy plans to support the growth of the manufacturing sector claims EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

Brexit could drive food firms offshore

Some manufacturers could relocate their operations overseas in whole or in part following the Brexit vote, a senior food industry consultant has suggested.

Food firms can’t plan for Brexit until given more information

The government should tell food and drink manufacturers how it plans to transpose EU law into UK law before the sector can prepare for Brexit, says DWF’s head of food group Dominic Watkins.

Nestlé may raise prices after growth forecast cut

Nestlé may raise its product prices after cutting its annual growth forecast from 4.3% to 3.5%, due to deflation and a “softer” market.

GMO law change will lead to glut of imports

Any deregulation of food made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the UK after Brexit is likely to result in a huge rise in imports of GM products from Asia and the Americas, a technical expert has warned.

Lack of Brexit plans a ‘huge threat’ to food industry

The food industry faces a “huge threat” due to the environment secretary Andrea Leadsom’s lack of an effective Brexit plan, claims the GMB union.

Brexit will prove ‘messy and ugly’ for farmers

Brexit is going to prove “messy, acrimonious and fairly ugly”, the director general of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Terry Jones has warned.

Provision Trade Federation boss sets out his plans

A seasoned civil servant, Andrew Kuyk may have joined the PTF at the right time, says Noli Dinkovski.

Marmite row sparks union fears for workers

Food manufacturing workers and shoppers should not become “collateral damage” victims of the government’s “chaotic” handling of Brexit, claims the GMB and Unite unions, after Unilever and Tesco rowed over the price of Marmite and PG Tips.

FDF boss urges ‘don’t panic’ over Brexit

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) director general Ian Wright has urged manufacturers “don’t panic”, over Brexit worries, while acknowledging the UK was at the point of “maximum uncertainty” regarding exit planning.

70% of food firms less confident since Brexit vote

Almost 70% of food and drink firms are less confident about UK business prospects than they were before the EU referendum, while many report some of their non-UK EU staff plan to return home after Brexit, warns a Food and Drink Federation (FDF) survey.

EU workers are vital to the logistics industry: FTA

Non-UK EU workers make as vital contribution to the logistics sector as their counterparts do in the National Health Service and the construction industry, said the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

FTA urges government to back Heathrow expansion

Building a third runway at Heathrow airport will become even more important after Brexit, argues the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Meat and wine to become more expensive after Brexit: BRC

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned that a hard Brexit – involving quitting the Single Market of 500M customers – would push the price of meat and wine up for consumers.

Brexit: top three challenges for food manufacturers

Food manufacturers will face three key challenges after the UK quits the EU, reveals research by farm business consultant Andersons.

1,500 food jobs could be lost in Scotland after Brexit

Up to 1,500 food and drink industry jobs could be lost in Scotland after Brexit, which could cost the sector £150M, warn researchers.

PTF boss: ‘Uncertainty is the biggest challenge’

The biggest challenge facing the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote is the level of uncertainty over what leaving Europe means, the new head of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) has claimed.

New Brexit boss appointed by National Farmers Union

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has appointed Nick von Westenholz to the new position of Brexit boss, as part of the organisation’s move to help put farming and food at the centre of the government planning for life after EU membership.

E-commerce to boost small food manufacturers

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that invest in exporting and e-commerce are more confident about their business prospects and anticipate faster growth than businesses that do not, according to a new report commissioned by Enterprise Nation and Amazon UK.

Euro grocery boss idea divides opinion

European food and drink manufacturers’ organisation FoodDrinkEurope has failed to back calls for a European-wide Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Corporation tax likely to be cut as Brexit proceeds

Corporation tax in the UK could be reduced to 12.5% from its current level of 20%, former trade minister Lord Francis Maude of Horsham has predicted.

Scotch whisky exports growth is first for three years

Scotch whisky exports grew in the first half of 2016, despite worries about the UK’s future trade relationships with the EU and other countries.

Scottish food and drink sector to create 14,000 jobs

Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers expect to boost turnover by an average of 24% over the next five years, and to create 14,000 new jobs, according to a survey by the Bank of Scotland.

Support for farmers post Brexit should be reviewed, says PTF

The new boss of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) has questioned the viability of continuing to support farmers with subsidies following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

FTA warns of violence after Calais blockade

Today’s blockade of the main motorway into Calais has made drivers a sitting target, warned the Freight Transport Association (FTA), whose membership includes lorry drivers of food and drink manufacturers.

Manufacturing sector ‘rebounds’ after Brexit

The manufacturing sector achieved record 25-year growth last month, after the steep downturn following the EU referendum, according to the Markit/ Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

Next Month’s News: our podcast preview

Welcome to Next Month’s News, the latest edition in Food Manufacture Group’s new podcast series predicting what topics will dominate our headlines over the next four weeks.

FDF first-half results show 9% rise in UK exports

The value of food and non-alcoholic drink exports rose by 8.7%, up by £528.3M over the past 12 months to £6.6bn, compared with the previous year, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Whisky exports need to be secured post Brexit: SWA

Free trade deals will be needed to secure exports of Scotch Whisky after the UK leaves the EU, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Which sector saw highest costs since the Brexit vote?

The cost of manufacturing food and drink products has risen 4.3% over the past 12 months across all sectors, according to latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Number of EU workers surge pre-referendum

The number of EU workers in the UK rose by almost 90,000 in the run up to the EU referendum, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

UK farming report slammed by National Farmers Union

Policy pressure group Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was criticised for not considering food security in its paper, ‘New model farming: resilience through diversity’, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Manufacturers will struggle to replace EU staff post-Brexit

Food manufacturers face a “particularly challenging” time following the Brexit vote, as nearly 40% of the industry’s workforce are migrants and the overall damage to the economy is likely to reduce staff wages.

Brexit creates fears over future of EU workers

The director at a UK pork processor has voiced his concerns over the impact of Brexit on his workforce and the wider sector.

Brexit will drive review of hygiene regulations

A skills shortage and the impact of Brexit are the two main challenges facing the food industry, the newly appointed chairman of the Society of Food Hygiene & Technology (SOFHT) has claimed.

UK food researchers miss out on EU projects

Andrea Leadsom, the former Conservative contender for prime minister, had her first official outing as environment secretary last month at the launch of the Industry Approved Apprenticeship Programmes from the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink.

Expect Brexit timeline by October, says FDF boss

The boss of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) believes the Conservative government will set out a timetable for the UK’s exit from the EU at the time of its party conference, which takes place from October 2–5.

Brexit is ‘unique opportunity’ for food and drink

Brexit will deliver “unique opportunities” for British food and drink manufacturers to boost exports, while allowing the industry to develop unfettered by the chains of EU red tape.

Brexit challenges will materialise after six months

The challenges of Brexit will be at their most severe for manufacturers – including food and drink producers – over the next six months to a year, culminating in a recession until at least the end of 2017, warns a new survey by the manufacturers’ organisation, EEF.

PM reveals food and farming ministerial roles

George Eustice has retained his position as food and farming minister in the latest ministerial appointments by new Prime Minister Theresa May. 

What food and drink manufacturers worry about most

Brexit and the sugar tax topped food and drink manufacturers’ concerns this year, according to the Food Manufacture Group’s exclusive industry-wide survey. We explore the headline results of the survey with the editor of Food Manufacture Rick Pendrous.

Five trade options for life after Brexit: AHDB

Five possible scenarios could determine the future of the UK food and drink sector’s trading relationship with the EU after Brexit, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

FDF sends new PM a food industry wish list

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has added to the Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May’s in tray with a four-point wish list to maintain the competitiveness of UK food and drink manufacturing.

Food manufacturers face challenging times: survey

Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, food and drink manufacturers face even more business challenges than they did before. The scale of those challenges was revealed by our exclusive survey of Food Manufacture Group readers.

FDF launches six-step manifesto to ease Brexit

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has launched a six-step manifesto to help Britain’s biggest manufacturing sector cope with Brexit – the “UK’s most significant peacetime challenge ever”, according to its director general Ian Wright.

Food firms to pay ‘£2,675 for every foreign worker’

Food businesses face a bill of at least £2,675 to recruit every foreign worker, after the UK leaves the EU, warns law firm Simpson Millar LLP.

Food sector licks its wounds after Brexit

Despite all signs to the contrary, I don’t think many of us on the Remain side really expected a Brexit vote in our heart of hearts. Which made the result to leave the EU even more of a shock when we woke up on Friday June 24.

Brexit: food firms need integrated supply chains

An integrated supply chain that standardises legislation, systems, policies, and engineering methods is needed post-Brexit, according to a leading university academic.

Brexit could result in ‘stable food prices’ but views differ

Food prices could remain low fuelled by intense competition by retailers despite Brexit, a leading economist has claimed.

Brexit risks euro backlash against British goods

The Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) has warned of a possible “consumer backlash” against British products in Europe, after Britons’ shock vote to quit the EU.

Greene King warns of fall in consumer confidence over Brexit

Greene King, the brewer and pub operator, has warned that consumer confidence will be hit by Brexit.

EU trade deal to be delayed by ‘east Europeans’

The vested interests of east European Member States will delay and frustrate the UK’s bid to conclude a swift trade deal with the EU, an EU insider told a meeting organised by the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) yesterday (June 28).

Brexit: ‘Scotland open for business’ with Europe

Scotland is open for business and will continue working with colleagues across Europe, Scottish rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing has said.

Brexit: ‘knock off’ protected food status threat

Markets could be swarmed with “knock-offs” of classic regional British foods such as Cornish pasties and clotted cream thanks to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to market analyst Mlex.

Brexit: UK beef prices fall as imports set to rise

A year of static sales and falling beef prices has created an “intensely” competitive marketplace, according to meat manufacturer Dovecote Park, as analysts warned that the price of meat imported to the UK would increase.

Brexit: first sign of a ‘hit to jobs’: IoD survey

The first signs of Brexit’s short-term impact on the UK economy were highlighted in a survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD), which revealed nearly two-thirds (64%) of IoD members thought that quitting the EU would be negative for their business.

Brexit: mixed response from food and drink industry

The UK food and drink sector has given a mixed response, so far, to voters’ decision to quit the EU. Here, we report food and drink industry leaders’ first reactions to the historic decision.

It’s Brexit: UK votes to leave EU in historic decision

Food and drink manufacturers are coming to terms with the decision to leave the EU, after voters decided decisively in favour of Brexit, ending the nation’s 43 year membership of the union.

Food industry reacts to Brexit – in Tweets

The result is in and the Great British public has decided ­– we are to leave the EU, after more than 40 years membership. Here we report reaction to the vote in favour of Brexit as featured on the social networking site Twitter.

Brexit: what it means for food and drink manufacturers

As food and drink manufacturers study the impact of British voters’ historic decision to quit the EU, we explore how the vote may impact on the sector’s prosperity, based on the predictions of two leading campaigners – on either side of the argument – who set out their views in articles written exclusively for Food Manufacture earlier this month.

EU referendum: and the result will be …

No, we can’t predict the result of tomorrow’s EU referendum debate. But we can offer you a sneak preview of the possible outcome by voting in our very own Food Manufacture poll.

Unilever boss backs remain amid company logo row

The boss of Unilever is the latest senior food industry figure to speak up in favour of remaining in the EU, amid a spat over the use of the company’s logo on an official Leave campaign leaflet.

Food industry ‘blighted until 2020’ if Brexit wins vote

The UK economy – including its largest manufacturing sector, food and drink – will be blighted until 2020 if the country votes for Brexit, claimed The Economist Intelligence Unit.

PM visits Greene King brewery to boost remain vote

Prime Minister David Cameron visited Greene King’s brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk yesterday (June 14), in a bid to persuade staff to vote in favour of EU membership in next week’s referendum.

Moy Park boss backs EU membership

Poultry processor Moy Park has voiced strong support for continued EU membership, ahead of the referendum on Thursday June 23.

Food sector 'better off in the EU': Liz Truss

Environment secretary Liz Truss has claimed the future success of the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector hinged on it remaining a part of the EU, in a speech to industry leaders last month.

Food and drink manufacturers ‘better off outside EU’

The UK’s largest manufacturing industry, made up of mostly small and medium-sized firms, supplies over half of our food with a turnover of £85bn and employs over 3.5M people. 

Brexit will ‘damage UK food manufacturing’: survey

Most respondents (60%) in a ‘state-of-the-industry’ survey, conducted by this website, fear a vote to leave the EU on June 23 will be bad for their businesses, increasing the costs of imported ingredients, while hitting exports and access to labour from the EU.

Brexit fears driving up food and drink prices

Market fears over the UK’s potential exit from Europe are driving up food and drink costs, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

EU is ‘friend to food and drink’: Sir Stuart Rose

The EU is a friend to our food and drink industries. As former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, I have experience of the benefits that our membership of the EU provide.

2 Sisters’ boss Ranjit Boparan warns against Brexit

2 Sisters Food Group founder Ranjit Singh Boparan has claimed a vote to leave the EU – Brexit – could spell disaster for the UK food industry.

EU ‘vital for food industry success’: Sir Stuart Rose

EU membership is “vital for the success” of the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, argues Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe and former executive chairman of Marks & Spencer.

Food and drink manufacturers boost UK output

Rising output reported by food and drink manufacturers has boosted the UK manufacturing sector, despite lacklustre export demand, according to a new Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report.

Firms ‘should tell staff about EU benefits’: Liz Truss

Food and drink manufacturing business leaders should help their staff understand the business benefits of EU membership, ahead of the referendum on June 23, according to environment secretary Liz Truss.

Food firm mergers and acquisitions rise 11%

Food and drink sector mergers and acquisitions (M&A) climbed by 11% in the first quarter of this year, with 51 deals completed, according to business consultancy Grant Thornton.

Former Tory food ministers slug it out over Brexit

Britain’s ability to develop genetically modified (GM) foods was a central theme of a debate on next month’s EU referendum between two former Tory food ministers yesterday (May 12) in London.

Brexit could cost Scotch whisky industry £1bn: SWA

A UK decision to quit the EU would cost the Scotch whisky industry more than £1bn in lost exports and over 40,000 jobs, warns the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Food Manufacture survey tests sector’s hopes and fears

The UK electorate will decide next month whether or not the country remains part of the EU. And while the food and drink manufacturing sector appears to have come out firmly in favour of staying in, which way the vote goes will be a political rather than economic decision and determined by individual voters’ views.

Brexit backed by more smaller food firms

Support for a Brexit in next month’s EU referendum is stronger among smaller food and drink operators, with many not expecting it to make a very big difference to their businesses, according to a new survey conducted by the publisher of this website.

Manufacturing spending ‘hit by EU referendum uncertainty’

Many manufacturing business leaders are delaying investment until after the EU referendum on June 23, according to TV business broadcaster Steph McGovern.

£60M US export opportunity for UK beef and lamb

UK beef and lamb producers could gain access to the £60M US market after recent trade talks.

Living Wage leads thousands of firms to struggle

Thousands of businesses are struggling to absorb the impact of the new National Living Wage (NLW), insolvency firm Begbies Traynor has warned.  

Food leaders should ‘grow a pair’ over EU promotion

Food and drink manufacturing leaders and other business executives who support EU membership have been urged to promote the benefits of membership far more actively, in hard-hitting comments from Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright, delivered in a panel discussion at the trade event Foodex.

Quitting EU ‘disastrous’ for food and drink exporters

A vote to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum could spell disaster for UK food and drink exporters, warns new research from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor.

Food manufacturers back EU membership ‘overwhelmingly’

Leading UK food and drink manufacturers have given “an overwhelming endorsement” to the campaign for the UK to remain in the EU.

Brexit could spark a ‘food factory crisis’

Leaving the EU could spark a “food factory crisis”, according to new research on the consequences of a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU, from the Food Research Collaboration (FRC).