Risk of gaps in supermarkets if small firms collapse, FDF warns

UK grocers could face gaps on shelves in small businesses go bust this winter as a result of the rising costs, the Food and Drink Federation has warned.

According to the CEO of food industry group, Karen Betts, “it is a worrying time” as food and drink inflation hits 12.7%, she told MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee.

“Our industry feels caught in the eye of a pretty powerful storm at the moment,” Betts said.

“We know we have a huge responsibility to keep prices affordable, but all of our manufacturing companies are experiencing exponential rises.”

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Betts added: “If the worst were to happen and some companies couldn’t make ends meet, we could see a tightening of supply in certain products that we find in shops.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have put huge strain on the food and drink supply chain, and now the high energy costs are further squeezing companies that are energy intensive or are reliant on coal and CO2, Betts continued.

“Whilst some work has been done by the government and by companies to introduce more resilience into the system, it is still pretty precarious and that will feed into price rises.

She went on to say that businesses have been cutting costs and introducing energy efficiencies wherever they can to keep food available, but urged the UK government to step in with more support for households in paying their energy bills too.

She said: “Our industry is struggling to absorb the level of regulation that’s coming at us on things like plastics and packaging – where we know we have got to get to good outcomes and we know we’ve got to get there quickly

“We need a review of what the priorities are here, more support for these investments that need to be made in the green transition, and more listening to industry on how progress can be made in a more efficient and streamlined way than it’s currently envisaged by government.”



1 Comment. Leave new

  • Andy Grey Rider
    September 8, 2022 6:58 am

    Is that ‘if’ small businesses go bust, in the first paragraph?
    Told you previously, you need a new competent Proofreader.
    I don’t accept blaming Brexit, Covid-19, Ukraine and Energy Crisis. Margins for small businesses have been stripped right back, for over a decade and like forever, by supermarkets and online grocers.
    It was going to happen eventually because of inept contingency strategies and planning to fail. Businesses need to be recession-proof to survive instances of restricted cash flow.
    I have eagerly watched and been involved in the hospitality industry for over three generations. Noticing failures earlier have saved many but also there’s been a flipside of lapses in concentration. I have seen attitudes change and clientèle leave for pastures new, all because the finest details elapsed.


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