Business Leaders’ Forum

Business leaders tackle fat tax at industry forum

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chief operating officer Nutrition

Debate about taxing ‘unhealthy’ foods provoked division at Food Manufacture’s Business Leaders’ Forum and was a top hot topic singled out by Geoff Eaton, chairman of New England Seafood International.

Eaton, whose previous roles included chief operating officer and executive director at Premier Foods and ceo of chilled foods business Uniq, told after the event taxing fat, salt and sugar was contentious.

“That runs into all the complexity of where do you draw the line and does that start to become abused,”​ said Eaton, who highlighted what he believed to be the most significant areas covered at the half-day conference in this exclusive video.

“I would say there was a split view in terms of whether that ​[tax] should be used in terms of encouraging a change of diet for people.”

‘Greater competition’

Another subject for discussion he singled out was the impact of the continued growth of discount grocery chains Aldi and Lidl. “There was an interesting point about the high growth of those food manufacturers that are focused on the discounters and whether that will lead to much greater competition in manufacturing.

“I suspect that will be the case, but we haven’t yet seen that come through, so there’s a bit of trepidation in terms of how much this change will impact on everyone. There’s also recognition of the importance of manufacturers to differentiate their offering.”

View this exclusive video to hear more on what Eaton believed were the other key issues covered at the forum.

The free-to-attend event was sponsored by law firm DWF, food testing company ALcontrol Laboratories and Lloyds Bank and took place at DWF’s London office in Fenchurch Street.

It is open to senior executives in food and drink manufacturing firms. To register for next year’s event, email​.

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