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Food industry response to the Chancellor's speech at Conservative Party Conference 2016

3 October 2016

Food industry response to the Chancellor's speech at Conservative Party Conference 2016

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Responding to the speech from Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the Conservative Party Conference, Ian Wright CBE, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, the voice of the UK's largest manufacturing sector – food and drink, said:

"The food and drink industry is committed to working with the Government to ensure Britain remains one of the best places in the world for a business to invest, to innovate and to grow.

We share the Chancellor's belief that boosting productivity is key to unlocking future prosperity. Indeed, driving productivity as part of a renewed industrial strategy is vital to achieving this ambition and food and drink must be at its heart.

Food and drink manufacturing provides quality jobs across the country and creates wealth for the whole nation. In recent years, food and drink manufacturing has been a productivity success story, far outstripping the wider economy, however there is massive untapped opportunity.

A future industrial strategy must enable the UK to be an attractive platform for companies to create or launch innovative products and to adopt innovative manufacturing technologies."

Notes for editors

  • Food and drink manufacturing accounts for 16% of the total manufacturing sector by turnover and employs around 400,000 people in the UK across 6,620 businesses.
  • Productivity in food and drink grew by 11 per cent in the five years from 2009-2014, compared to 0.5 per cent across the whole economy.
  • The vast majority – 96% - of food and drink producers in this country micro to medium-sized.
  • FDF's Manifesto: Priorities for a new UK – EU Relationship

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Distribution channels: Food & Beverages