The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) urged whichever political party, or parties, triumphed in the general election next year to forge an industrial strategy for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector driven by a new Food and Drink Manufacturing Council.
The FDF’s strategy document – Ingredients for Success: Delivering Sustainable Growth Beyond 2015 – unveiled at a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons yesterday (July 1) also called for voluntary frameworks for industry action working in partnership with government and others.
‘Coherent food policy’
Third point on the FDF wishlist was: “A coherent food policy framework with food safety, security and resilience, sustainability and authenticity at its heart.”
Melanie Leech, FDF director general said: “We hope that a recipe with only three ingredients can be an easy one for cooks of any political colour to follow.”
Leech said the new partnership would foster innovation by promoting greater collaboration between industry, government and researchers, target export promotion at the overseas markets offering the best potential and created a long-term industry-led skills strategy.
Investing heavily in new recipes
On voluntary frameworks, Leech said over the past 10 years the industry had demonstrated its commitment to improved public health by investing heavily in new recipes and greater product choice, while providing clear labelling and encouraging the industry’s workforce to lead health lives.
Successes included: the elimination of artificial transfats from packaged and prepared foods, a 10% cut in the salt content of FDF members’ products over the past five years and reductions in the saturated fat and calorie content of products.
On supply chains, the FDF urged government to adopt a consistent, evidence-based regulatory approach which does not exclude new technologies, to maintain the Food Standards Agency’s independence and to adequately resource groups such as the Waste & Resources Action Programme.
Meanwhile, the effectiveness of voluntary action to combat obesity will be debated at a free-to attend, independent webinar tomorrow (Thursday July 3) at 1100GMT. Taking part will be the director of the FDF’s regulatory, science and health division Barbara Gallani and speakers from the National Institute for Health Research, Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, Consensus Action on Salt & Health and Action on Sugar and Leeds University.
Reserve your free place here.
• Industrial strategy for food and drink manufacturing sector driven by a new Food & Drink Manufacturing Council
• Voluntary frameworks for industry action working in partnership with government and others
• Coherent food policy framework with food safety, security and resilience, sustainability and authenticity at its heart