Manufacturing showcase wins Cabinet approval

By Freddie Dawson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Drink manufacturing Industry Value added Food and drink federation

Show time: the exhibition won praise from business secretary Vince Cable
Show time: the exhibition won praise from business secretary Vince Cable
A new exhibition designed to promote UK food and drink manufacturing, organised by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), has won praise from business secretary Vince Cable.

Cable said the exhibition helped to explain the major contribution food and drink manufacturing made to the UK economy.

Minister for business and enterprise, Mark Prisk added: “Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, accounting for £72.3bn of UK turnover and directly employing over 400,000 people.

“This showcase reflects the scale of the work that is being carried out by the industry to really grow its potential and maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation, safety and sustainability in food production.”

4,000 visitors

The exhibition, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) building in London’s Victoria Street, is expected to attract 4,000 visitors and will be open for two weeks.

The FDF’s director of communications, Terry Jones told “Food and drink is something that we probably take for granted. But when people see the research and development and the innovation that goes into creating our best known brands they are usually amazed. This also gives us the chance to really communicate the strength of our industry and potential for further growth and contribution to the economy.”

Jones said the exhibition aimed to explain to government ministers, civil servants, the public and other stakeholders the significant contribution food manufacturing makes through job creation, gross value added and the continuation of traditional, much-loved brands.

The FDF was invited to showcase the best of food and drink manufacturing by Prisk, he added.

Employment issues

During the exhibition, speakers from the FDF and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink will discuss employment issues in the food and drink manufacturing sector. Sue Swanborough, human resources director for the UK and Ireland at General Mills, will give an employer’s perspective. Apprentices from Kraft Foods and Nestlé UK & Ireland will talk about their experiences of working in the industry.

Attracting young talent is another aim of the event. It will include a careers seminar, called Attracting Talent to Support Growth, to promote the food and drink sector to aspiring engineers and scientists.

The event will also include product tastings from member companies such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Nestlé, General Mills, Vimto and Apetito.

The exhibition opens its doors to the public between 8:30am and 6pm on weekdays.

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