The UK’s Food & Drink Federation (FDF) has launched a “manifesto” to highlight what it claims is “the strategic importance of the food and drink manufacturing sector to the UK economy”.

In a speech this evening, Ross Warburton, president of the FDF, will call on Government to make a public commitment that a successful food manufacturing sector will be a “strategic priority”.

Warburton will look to challenge politicians to stop taking the food and drink industry for granted and to place a sustainable UK food sector at the heart of the next Government’s strategy for economic recovery.

“Defra’s Food 2030 Vision provides a platform for us to work with Government,” Warburton said today.

“We must create a coherent strategy for food, and an economic and regulatory environment which allows our members to prosper and to ensure the nation’s future food security against the combined effects of climate change, higher global demand and increasing pressure on finite resources.”

He added: “Government must support manufacturers, protect innovation through investment and through cutting the red tape, and back us in going green.”

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In January, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn launched the Government’s food strategy goals for the next 20 years.

Benn said the UK needs to produce more food sustainably to respond to mounting environmental challenges and help provide food for a growing world population.

Officials at Defra could not be reached for immediate comment.