Recent European Union (EU) expansion, with the possibility of cheaper imports into the UK and increased competition in export markets within the Union, holds few fears for food and drink manufacturers.
Only 5% of respondents to Food Manufacture's latest survey saw a strong threat and 17% any threat at all. A further 64% saw no threat while 12% just did not know.
However, one manager said: "There are already signs that large food companies are transferring production to new EU countries where labour is much cheaper." Another respondent claimed the growing strength of retailers would lead to production moving to "cheaper" countries, perhaps at the expense of quality and lost production in the UK.
The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy was seen as positive for manufacturing by 44% of respondents, while 22% felt the opposite and 34% did not know.