FDF publishes new trade strategy for growth and cost of living

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published a Trade and Investment Strategy to deliver growth across the UK amid the cost of living crisis.

The food and drink body’s strategy outlines a “positive, comprehensive, cross-government approach” to partner the food sector and government to deliver tangible gains.

With the post-Brexit backdrop of the UK government‘s independent policy and willingness to forge new trade agreements globally – the strategy hopes to use the opportunity to maximise the benefits.

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“Our report looks at how government and industry put food and drink at the heart of the UK’s new, independent trade policy, and ensures this supports companies in our sector to grow and thrive. Trade is also a means of curbing rising costs, which is particularly important now at a time of soaring inflation,” FDF CEO Karen Betts said.

“This strategy sets out the strong partnership we want to continue to foster with the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, so our industry can play its full role in growing UK exports and in using trade to deliver economic growth and prosperity across the UK, to communities up and down the country.”

By driving up exports, the FDF hopes to ensure the UK is a “global hub for innovation and R&D investment”. However, it also hopes that imports also support consumer choice, are affordable and support UK’s food security.

Therefore, the strategy highlights the importance of imports both for the UK’s food supply but also to expand long-term growth in sustainable value-added exports – ensuring innovation and creation of new jobs.

Additionally, any new preferential trade agreements should also “insist on the need for high standards of production, environmental sustainability and animal welfare” while also recognising the unique features of the UK food and drink supply mix.

“Our food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined – and more evenly dispersed across our country,” Secretary of State for DEFRA George Eustice said.

“There are opportunities for our food and drink businesses in markets around the world, and we want everyone to be lining up to buy British. I look forward to working with the sector to ensure that businesses across the UK can take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

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