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The benefits of engaging staff in sustainability

Initiatives aimed at involving employees in sustainability aims are now commonplace in progressive food companies, and for good reason. Ben...

England child obesity plan should cheer industry

The UK government’s action plan on childhood obesity in England, launched today (18 August), has been criticised by industry bodies, health...

Ben Cooper | 28 Jul 2016

Improving the diet of employees can boost productivity, morale and staff retention, making workplace nutrition an increasing priority for any company. But, Ben Cooper writes, the nutritional value of workplace catering at a food company is likely to be more closely scrutinised than at other companies, while the food sector has a unique contribution to make in improving workplace nutrition at large.

Ben Cooper | 17 May 2016

The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice has launched a public consultation on new self-regulatory rules governing the advertising of food and drink to children through non-broadcast media. The extent to which non-industry views are reflected in the eventual rules, Ben Cooper writes, will have a direct bearing on their credibility.

Ben Cooper | 15 Mar 2016

The UK's Conservative Party may only have a working majority in the House of Commons of 17 but, with the Labour Party struggling to convince voters it could be a credible alternative, the country could see five more years of Tory government after 2020. Ben Cooper weighs up what could shape Conservative thinking on UK food and health policy over the next decade.

Ben Cooper | 27 Oct 2015

With suspicion of so-called Big Food at an all-time high, the food industry needs to be proactive in its response to Public Health England's report on sugar. Ben Cooper highlights ways manufacturers could show positive engagement.

Latest Interviews

Ben Cooper | 31 Oct 2016

When the UK government published its long-awaited plan to tackle childhood obesity in August, the Food and Drink Federation, which represents UK food manufacturers, seemed less than impressed, criticising the decision to go ahead with the soft drinks levy as "a disappointing diversion" from effective measures and the plan’s sugar reduction targets as "flawed". However, in an interview with just-food, FDF director general Ian Wright struck a more positive note, describing the government's response to the obesity crisis as "relatively well modulated".

Ben Cooper | 19 Oct 2016

In the second part of an extensive interview on the implications of Brexit for UK food companies, Ian Wright, director general of industry association the Food and Drink Federation, speaks with Ben Cooper about the longer-term implications of Brexit for UK food and farming policy and on the food industry's labour force. 

Latest News

John Shepherd | 30 Mar 2017

Public Health England (PHE) today (30 March) set out guidelines for food manufacturers operating in the country to reduce sugar by 20% in the top nine categories of products providing sugar to children's diets by 2020.

John Shepherd | 29 Mar 2017

Food companies on both sides of the English Channel are set to feel the brunt of "more costly" trade once the UK leaves the EU, even if a "customs union" is negotiated, according to a new report.

John Shepherd | 27 Mar 2017

UK food industry organisations in the UK today (27 March) urged the Government to negotiate "a smooth and orderly Brexit", including "tariff-free trade" in the medium term.

John Shepherd | 22 Mar 2017

The UK's Food and Drink Federation said today (22 March) it would "not be technically possible or acceptable to consumers" to meet a voluntary target - issued last year by the country's government - to cut the sugar in products in nine categories by 20% by 2020.

John Shepherd | 14 Mar 2017

The heads of 35 UK food and drink suppliers' organisations are calling on the country's government to reach an early agreement on future trade with Ireland in the run up to Brexit, to avoid "a cliff-edge scenario that results in a sudden transformation" to existing arrangements.

John Shepherd | 21 Feb 2017

The value of UK food and drink exports grew by 10.5% in 2016 to a record of more than GBP20bn (US$24.8) as manufacturers "responded to rapid growth in demand for quality produce", according to new figures from UK industry association the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

John Shepherd | 8 Dec 2016

The UK's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced new rules that extend the ban on advertising high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) food and soft drink products to children on television to non-broadcast media.

Dean Best | 3 Nov 2016

Food companies operating in Ireland exporting to the UK are already being hit by the drop in the value of sterling but the Irish food industry could face a range of other challenges from Brexit, the head of the country's trade association has warned.

Dean Best | 2 Nov 2016

Food and drink manufacturers operating in the UK may find it difficult to fill seasonal vacancies this Christmas, the organisation that represents labour providers in the country has warned.

Dean Best | 18 Oct 2016

The UK government today (18 October) set out its bid to increase the value of the country's food and drink exports by GBP2.9bn, with plans to target a select group of markets.

Katy Askew | 13 Oct 2016

Tesco and Unilever have locked horns as the UK's largest retailer resists the consumer packaged goods giant's attempt to hike prices in the wake of Brexit. 

John Shepherd | 7 Sep 2016

Food and drink firms in England and Wales are putting post-Brexit uncertainty behind them to raise growth forecasts and plan to create more than 75,000 new jobs over the next five years, according to a new report published today (7 September).

John Shepherd | 18 Aug 2016

The UK government's bid to tackle childhood obesity in England, including a levy on soft drinks and a voluntary reduction for sugar reduction in foods, have been criticised by campaigners this morning (18 August).

John Shepherd | 18 Aug 2016

Sugar content in food drink could be cut by 20% over the next four years in the UK, according to leaked details of a long-awaited government strategy to combat childhood obesity that is expected to be published later today.

Katy Askew | 15 Jul 2016

Andrea Leadsom has been appointed the new UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

Ben Cooper | 15 Jul 2016

Campaign group Action on Sugar (AOS) has branded measures in the UK government's child obesity strategy, which is now expected to be delayed until the autumn, as "pathetic".

Helen Arnold | 14 Jul 2016

Unfettered access to the EU’s labour market, reassurance to those EU migrants already working in the UK, as well as continued market access to EU consumers, ingredients and existing trade deals are some of the key tenets of the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) manifesto for the Brexit negotiations.

John Shepherd | 11 Jul 2016

New research has revealed "the damaging impact" a proposed UK sugar tax could have on the economy, UK campaign group The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) said today (11 July).

Ben Cooper | 8 Jul 2016

The UK’s long-awaited child obesity strategy looks set to be published during the next couple of weeks, but when it does it is likely to be a cause of further acrimony between the food industry and health campaigners.

Helen Arnold | 5 Jul 2016

Access to existing Free Trade Agreements, access to labour, the free movement of labour and the need to make the food industry more productive are the key priorities for the UK food and drink industry in the wake of the Brexit vote, according to the Food and Drink Federation’s director general.

Helen Arnold | 30 Jun 2016

The director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has slammed the UK government for failing to have a coherent plan in place in the event of a Brexit vote, following the first meeting of business leaders since the referendum.

Dean Best | 24 Jun 2016

UK food manufacturers face a "very challenging period" in the wake of the country's decision to leave the EU, trade body the Food and Drink Federation has said this morning (24 June).

Latest blogs

Dean Best | 18 Jan 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has shed some light on what she wants from the country's negotiations to leave the EU and its post-Brexit future - and the food sector has given her speech a cautious welcome.

Dean Best | 9 Dec 2016

The plethora of food manufacturing associations in the UK has been argued by some to be an impediment to the industry coming to a coherent position on the aftermath of Brexit and on what the sector should be demanding from the country's government now and ahead of talks with the EU. This week, more than 30 bodies published an open letter on the subject of labour, one of the critical issues facing the sector.

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