Food and drink industry leaders welcome energy price cap but want more clarity

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Liz Truss has announced moves to cap business energy bills for six months
Liz Truss has announced moves to cap business energy bills for six months

Related tags Supply chain

Food bosses have welcomed news that new Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced moves to cap business energy bills for six months but have asked for more details on the scheme.

The Prime Minister made announced as she also revealed plans to support consumers who will pay no more than £2,500 for the next two years. 

Speaking in an opening speech on energy in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday, 8 September) Truss pledged to support businesses with energy costs with an period for six months.

Truss said: “After those six months we will provide further support to vulnerable sectors, such as hospitality, including our local pubs.


“My Rt Hon Friend the Business Secretary will work with businesses to review where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support. This review will be concluded within 3 months, giving businesses certainty.”

The FDF’s chief executive Karen Betts said: “Our sector is looking forward to urgent conversations with the Business Secretary to understand what support will be available to hard-pressed food and drink manufacturers, not least smaller businesses, given our role in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of high quality and affordable food and drink to everyone across the UK every day.”

Betts welcomed the support from the Prime Minister to both households and businesses energy costs. 

She added: “The UK’s food and drink industry continues to work hard to keep prices down for consumers. The inflationary impact in our sector is dramatic – with huge rises in energy, ingredient, raw material and logistics costs. 

​Rises in labour costs are also contributing to this mix of issues, as is the weakness of the pound. Companies are doing all they can to cut costs, including through reducing the range of some products.  But the acute economic situation is exposing real fragilities in our food and drink supply chain.”

Details and clarity

Rupert Ashby British Frozen Food Federation ceo said: “I am pleased to see that Liz Truss has recognised the plight of many of our members. However, we need to see the detail of the scheme to understand the full level of support being offered. My immediate reaction is that I would like to see the scheme extended to two years to match the support being offered to households.”

Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “By committing to an energy price cap for businesses today the PM has shown she understands just how critical the energy crisis has become for our breweries and pubs, and just how important pubs and brewers are to their communities. This intervention will help thousands of business owners to breathe a little easier over energy bills in the coming winter months.

“This announcement will avert the immediate threat of the energy crisis for businesses, but we need clarity and assurance for the long-term so our brewers and pubs can plan effectively and thrive at their heart of their communities long into the future.

​The cost of doing business is still a very real threat for many but we are encouraged by the direction this Government is going in. Now we need to hear more on business rates, VAT and keeping beer duty low.”

A spokesman from the British Meat Processors Association said: "The energy announcement this week has raised more questions for businesses. The six months worth of help with energy bills with a review after three months has simply offered businesses a moveable cliff edge. There’s no detail around how far help might be extended and what might qualify a business for help beyond that. Companies need more certainty if they are to be able to plan ahead properly and, so far, we’ve not got that."



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