Premier Foods joins New Year resolutions list

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Premier Foods boss Gavin Darby resolved to build closer relationships with suppliers and customers
Premier Foods boss Gavin Darby resolved to build closer relationships with suppliers and customers

Related tags: Food

Premier Foods boss Gavin Darby has pledged to forge closer partnerships with suppliers and customers in a list of New Year resolutions submitted to this website by key industry figures.

Darby told this website he wanted to turn “unprecedented marketplace challenges into opportunities” ​while predicting the market would remain very challenging this year.

Partnership was a theme echoed by many others who called for greater transparency in contractual agreements between retailers, manufacturers, processors and suppliers.

‘Stop pussy footing around’

Greater efforts to tackle food waste was also a common theme of many responses. British Frozen Food Federation ceo Brian Young urged politicians, opinion formers and everyone in the food industry to “stop pussy footing around”​ on reducing food waste. “One billion people around the world going to bed hungry each night should keep us all awake,” ​he said.

Healthy eating was a topic highlighted by the British Retail consortium (BRC) among others. Its director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said: “In 2015, UK retailers resolve to further reduce food waste, continue to cut down salt, sugar and fat from foods and roll out front-of-pack nutrition information on all packaging.”

The challenge of obesity

The Food and Drink Federation also singled out meeting the challenge of obesity and boosting exports.

Training was the priority of the Chilled Food Association and the National Skills Academy (NSA). The NSA’s chairman Paul Wilkinson said: “My resolution is to focus on promoting the food and drink industry as a career of choice …”

Chief executive of the Institute of Food Science & Techology Jon Poole urged the food sector to step up its communications and engagement with the consumers to raise their level of understanding about food and its production.

So what would be your New Year resolution for the food and drink manufacturing sector? Join the debate, either by posting a resolution in the readers’ comment section below or email Michael.stones@wrbm. Enjoy the contributions below? 

 

Bernard Matthews​, group technical director Jeremy Hall:

“That all UK retailers shall require all supply sites to use effective in-plant interventions to ensure ALL chicken and portions on sale in the UK meets the Food Standards Agency ​[FSA] target for campylobacter by June to August, to deliver the agreed reduction in the November 2015 retail survey results.” 

 

British Frozen Food Federation​, chief executive Brian Young:

“My hope is that politicians, opinion formers and everyone in the food industry stop pussy footing around on reducing food waste. One billion people around the world going to bed hungry each night should keep us all awake. There are already tried, trusted, safe and reliable methods available to reduce waste and instead of searching for mythical silver bullets, let’s embrace what we already have and really get behind using them.”

 

British Retail Consortium​, director of food and sustainability, Andrew Opie:

“In 2015, UK retailers resolve to further reduce food waste, continue to cut down salt, sugar and fat from foods and roll out front-of-pack nutrition information on all packaging. All three resolutions are great news for the environment and consumers.”

 

Chilled Food Association​, director Kaarin Goodburn:

“Build ‎on our new Chilled Education partnership with www.schoolscience.co.uk to inspire future generations to pursue careers in chilled STEM ​[science, technology, engineering and maths].

“Innovate for enhanced sustainability through progressive implementation of the outcomes of our SUSSLE projects (Sustainable Shelf Life Extension).

“Extend the reach of the retail chilled sector's standards to public procurement, particularly hospitals.”

 

Food and Drink Federation​, interim director general, Jim Moseley:

“That our industry continues to tackle the issue of obesity with renewed vigour, building on the outstanding achievements already delivered under a robust voluntary framework.

“That our industry dramatically increases exports particularly as growth opportunities lessen in the UK.

“That our industry is recognised as a world leader and considered ‘the destination’ as an employer of choice.”

 

Hubbub​, food charity ceo/founder Trewin Restorick:

“We would like companies to collaborate ensuring that surplus food is redistributed to those in need. We think there should be greater transparency about food waste and that companies should check that their policies and promotions don’t increase the problem.”

 

Institute of Food Science & Technology, ​chief exective Jon Poole:

"Resolutions often focus around giving up things and are rarely kept up beyond the end of January. So, how about the food industry focussing on starting something? We would like to see the food sector being more proactive with its communications and engagement with the consumers to raise their level of understanding about food and its production but only if it is a long-lasting commitment, not just for January.

"Also for the industry to stop talking about the problems of facing a yawning skills gap, and actually come together to do something about it. We want all food businesses to have a New Year’s resolution to register their work experience places on FoodStart​.”

 

National Skills Academy ​(NSA) and chairman of Thorntons Paul Wilkinson:

“My resolution is to focus on promoting the food and drink industry as a career of choice and to ensure that the politicians recognise the importance to the economy and as a result assist in funding the work of the NSA.”

 

Organix,​ md Anna Rosier:

“We must act together as an industry to make it as simple as possible for families to make good food choices. How we as brands and businesses create, make, label, market, merchandise, price, promote and inform about our food influences the decisions made every day by families. We all have a responsibility as individuals who work in the industry to provide food choices that will improve the nation’s health and happiness into the future. For more information, see the Organix No Junk Challenge​ on how we’re helping families to make better food choices.”

 

Provision Trade Federation​, director general Terry Jones:

“I’d like us all to resolve to break down the barriers to trade. In 2014 we’ve seen first-hand the damage that export bans can have on businesses large and small, the length of the supply chain. Nonetheless while some in the food supply chain and in government are taking a realistic view about where our food will come from in the future, many seem to be embracing a new protectionist approach.

“So we see the Food Standards Agency building a strategic plan which recognises that many more countries will supply us with our food in five years’ time but elsewhere ministers have described the importation of food as a disgrace. When I see these messages two questions immediately spring to mind. First, are we really saying we want consumers to have a reduced choice and second, in comparison to our neighbours and those further afield did we do everything we could have to support the development of modern, competitive, market-focused businesses?

“We must send a clear signal that the UK and the EU are open for business, emphasise that trade can be a force for good and understand that as an industry we can compete and collaborate with those elsewhere in the world to build thriving businesses.”

 

Premier Foods​, ceo Gavin Darby:

“My New Year's resolution for Premier Foods is to turn unprecedented marketplace challenges into opportunities. We predict that in 2015 the market will continue to be very challenging, but there are still growth opportunities out there. We plan to build even closer partnerships with our customers, and also our suppliers, to make sure we continue to give our consumers the choice, quality and value they're looking for.”

 

Rollitts​, corporate finance partner Julian Wild:

“My New Year’s resolution, on behalf of the UK food and drink industry, is to be more honest and transparent in dealings with customers and suppliers so that all parties know exactly what they are buying/selling and on what trading terms, which are then strictly adhered to. This would make life in the food and drink industry fairer and create a more productive and mutually supportive environment. Strong working partnerships are crucial for success.”

 

Roythornes​ legal firm, head of food and drink Peter Bennett:

“Greater professionalism, consistency and transparency when it comes to contractual agreements between retailers, manufacturers, processers and suppliers – the days of ‘golden handshakes’ are clearly gone. Retailer bullying has to be fought by a united food and drink industry.”

 

Scottish Food and Drink Federation(SFDF)​, chair Archie Gibson, Agrico UK:

“To continue to actively promote our Reformulation for Health: Guidance for small and medium-sized enterprises document and to build on that work through innovation.

“To continue to promote the food and drink industry as a career destination of choice through the many partnerships SFDF has established with educators and industry.

“To continue to support the food and drink manufacturing industry in meeting food safety and standards requirements.”

Meanwhile, is there anything missing from the above? Join the debate about New Year resolutions for the food and drink industry, either by posting a resolution in the readers’ comment section below or emailing Michael.stones@wrbm.

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1 comment

Artifically inflated polymer costs

Posted by Barry Twigg,

My New Year Resolution is to try to raise the profile of the disparity between oil pricing and polymer pricing within the UK.
Polymer prices have fallen just 5% in 2014 but the oil price has dropped by 50% since June.
We have contacted both Vince Cable (Business Secretary)and the packaging press in an effort to highlight the fact that oil price reductions are simply not being passed on to film manufacturers , convertors and end users. So far we have had no response from Vince Cable.
Is anyone willing to join me?

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