FDF boss urges food industry unity ahead of attacks

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ian Wright quoted downbeat songster Leonard Cohen in his plea for industry unity
Ian Wright quoted downbeat songster Leonard Cohen in his plea for industry unity

Related tags: Food and drink, Attack, Ian wright

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright has appealed for food industry unity, ahead of what he predicted will be “lies” told about the sector.

Quoting aged downbeat songster Leonard Cohen, Wright predicted “truth” ​and “lies” ​will be talked about the food and drink industry in the months ahead.

It was crucial the industry responded to the attacks on it with one voice, the federation’s director general told the FDF Awards on Monday night (September 7) in London.

Leonard Cohen "talks about facts and lies​ [in his song Nevermind ​– see lyrics below]”, said Wright. "It is really important that everyone​ [does what they can to ensure the debate] will be told in facts, not lies.”

Commenting after millionaire TV chef Jamie Oliver collected more than 100,000 signatures in support of a tax on sugary drinks, Wright said an important debate about the food and drinks industry was taking place. 

‘Won’t be coming for one company’

“I’d encourage you to think of an attack on one ​[part of the food industry] as an attack on the many. If we show any lack of unity, they won’t be coming for one company, they will come for all – and we shall all face the fight.”

Wright urged his audience to speak up for the food and drink sector, in answer to its many critics. “It’s a crucial debate for the future,” ​he said.

“We should be proud of this industry and what it represents. We don’t want it to be belittled in any shape or form.”

‘With facts and lies’

The FDF leader's favourite Cohen song contains the lyric:“The story’s told with facts and lies.” Another line states: ​There’s truth that lives and truth that dies.

Unity plea

“ ... ​they won’t be coming for one company, they will come for all – and we shall all face the fight”.

  • Ian Wright, FDF

Oliver's online petition, calling for a tax of 7p on regular­-sized cans of soft drink, collected more than 120,200 signatures​. Parliament has pledged to consider all petitions that gain more than 100,000 signatures.

Fiona Kendrick, Nestlé UK and Ireland boss and FDF president, said later in the evening that UK food and drink manufacturers were “inspiring and leading the world”.

Among the award winners was the nation’s largest independent cheese producer Wyke Farms. Md Richard Clothier collected the Environmental Leadership award for “a master class in green operations”.

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEA) will take place at the Lancaster Hotel in London on Tuesday November 3. More information about the carnival-themed, gala celebration of food and drink manufacturing is available here​.

Watch Waitrose technical manager Jonathan Bayne sum up the quality of this year’s awards here​. 

Leonard Cohen's Nevermind

“The war was lost                                                                                                


The treaty signed

I was not caught

I crossed the line


I was not caught

Though many tried

I live among you

Well disguised


I had to leave

My life behind

I dug some graves

You’ll never find


The story’s told

With facts and lies

I had a name

But never mind


Never mind

Never mind

The war was lost

The treaty signed


There’s truth that lives

And truth that dies

I don’t know which

So never mind


Your victory

Was so complete

That some among you

Thought to keep


A record of

Our little lives

The clothes we wore

Our spoons our knives


The games of luck

Our soldiers played

The stones we cut

The songs we made


Our law of peace

Which understands

A husband leads

A wife commands


And all of this

Expressions of

The Sweet Indifference

Some call Love


The High Indifference

Some call Fate

But we had Names

More intimate


Names so deep and

Names so true

They’re blood to me

They’re dust to you


There is no need

That this survive

There’s truth that lives

And truth that dies


Never mind

Never mind

I live the life

I left behind


There’s truth that lives...


I could not kill

The way you kill

I could not hate

I tried I failed


You turned me in

At least you tried

You side with them

Whom you despise


This was your heart

This swarm of flies

This was once your mouth

This bowl of lies


You serve them well

I’m not surprised

You’re of their kin

You’re of their kind


Never mind

Never mind

The story’s told

With facts and lies

You own the world

So never mind


Never mind

Never mind

I live the life

I left behind


I live it full

I live it wide

Through layers of time

You can’t divide


My woman’s here

My children too

Their graves are safe

From ghosts like you


In places deep

With roots entwined

I live the life I left behind”.

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more