EFFP restructures to move to ‘clear commercial footing’

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food security Poverty

EFFP restructures to move to ‘clear commercial footing’
Food chain collaboration champion English Farming and Food Partnerships (EFFP) has embarked on a restructuring exercise to move it onto a clear commercial footing as government funding dries up.

Set up in 2003 in the wake of the Curry Commission report to encourage farmers to become more commercially focused and help manufacturers think more strategically about procurement, EFFP was part-funded by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).

While bosses managed to secure government cash for a further 15 months (until June 2010) after the original five-year funding came to an end in March 2009, they have since developed a plan to create a new agri-food consultancy called European Food and Farming Partnerships LLP.

This will be supported by a £250,000 cash injection from the management team and £230,000 from the reserves of the EFFP, which will be renamed as the Food and Farming Foundation (FFF).

The FFF will remain as a not for profit organisation which will be funded from profits generated from its 40% stake in the newly formed consultancy business, chief executive Siôn Roberts told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“We already work with a lot of food companies on a commercial basis, but with this new structure in place, it puts the new business on a clear commercial footing while the foundation can focus on spreading the collaboration message​. All staff will switch to the LLP and there will be a service agreement in place between the LLP and the foundation.

“We will also be building stronger networks into the European market as we think that increasingly many of the best commercial solutions for the UK food and farming industry will be pan-European."

2007/8 commodity surge a 'wake up call' for trade

While most players in the food supply chain recognised the value of collaborating with trading partners, the sudden surge in commodity prices in 2007/8 served as a wake up call for many manufacturers and retailers and forced them to think more strategically about how they sourced raw materials, claimed Roberts.

"It forced some manufacturers to become more strategic and less tactical, and what's happened this summer​ [with sharp rises in some key commodities, notably wheat] has only reinforced the need for manufacturers to work more closely with raw materials suppliers."

National Farmers' Union ​deputy president Meurig Raymond said the restructuring was "sensible​" given the withdrawal of public funding.

He added: "We will meet with European Food and Farming Partnerships in the coming weeks to discover how the foundation will hold true to its mission and to discuss how farmers and growers can have an involvement in its governance.”

The restructuring plan will be put to the EFFP board at an EGM at the end of this month.

Related topics Supply Chain

Related news