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6 March 2017

FDF submission, Budget 2017

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Letter from Ian Wright, Director General, Food and Drink Federation

On behalf of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the UK’s food and drink producers, I am writing to set out our proposals for consideration ahead of the Government’s Budget on 16 March 2017.

UK food and drink is a major national asset and the envy of the world. As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, employing 400,000 people across the country, and contributing £21.9 billion to the economy, our continued success is vital to our shared economic future. The UK’s 6500 food and drink producers sit at the heart of a food supply chain worth £108 billion to the economy, and which is critical to our national security and national infrastructure.

We welcome the clarity provided by the Prime Minister this week on the UK’s exit from the EU. We are particularly pleased to note the Government’s intention to seek a phased approach which offers businesses time to prepare and plan. In recent times, our sector has been a beacon of productivity and export growth and we have potential to achieve much more through a comprehensive industrial strategy.

Brexit will have a profound impact on the entire agri-food sector and on manufacturers in particular. Our members are already experiencing severe pressures from increased instability and rising input prices, affecting raw commodities and packaging. In the longer-term we are greatly concerned by any barriers which will impact on our ability to trade freely and attract the workforce we need. The current value of Sterling does offer opportunity for companies to export more, and we urge Government to use this Budget to boost its support for current and would-be exporters so UK firms can take advantage of increased global opportunities.

I hope the following suggestions will be helpful. FDF and its member companies will continue to work constructively with Government to share our expertise and insight as the negotiations proceed. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think we can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,
Ian Wright CBE
Director General

More information

Contact Ted Woodward, Corporate Affairs Division, at: ted.woodward@fdf.org.uk, or +44 (0) 20 7420 7140.

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