The chilled prepared food sector delivered 21.4% energy reduction against an agreed target of 13.2% for the food manufacturing industry, during the life of the 10-year agreement which ended a year ago, said the CFA. This was despite the sector being major users of energy.
But as the government examines new targets for the industry, the CFA is emphasising how much ground it had already covered.
CFA director Kaarin Goodburn said: “We believe that chilled food manufacturers have, at significant cost to their businesses, made real and tangible changes in the way energy is consumed. This has resulted in delivering 8.2% excess on the agreed target.”
Significant investments have already been made now, realising most of the short and medium term savings possible, she added.
Some of the changes made by members included the use of monitoring and targeting utilising sub metering, which was now common in large businesses.
Also, members had prioritised boiler efficiency.
But two significant obstacles now stood in the way of further gains in energy efficiency in the sector.
The sector was moving further towards automation, which was more energy intensive, said Goodburn.
It was also seeing a short-term investment cycle due to market conditions and short-term supply agreements between manufacturers and retailers.
“We are negotiating through the Food and Drink Federation [FDF] for the next 10 years’ targets, and we want to emphasise that we have already done a lot more than just turn the lights off,” said Goodburn.
“In fact, our sub-sector’s performance has helped some of the other sectors under the FDF umbrella to meet their targets under the Climate Change Agreement.”
The Department of Energy and Climate Change allows energy-intensive industries to obtain a 65% discount from the Climate Change Levy. This is provided they meet challenging targets for improving their energy efficiency or reducing their carbon emissions.
Chilled food facts
- UK chilled prepared foods market has grown from £550M in 1989 to £9,755M.
- 12,000 different products on the market.
- About 50% of which will be reformulated or redeveloped every year.