FDF praise ‘productivity & innovation’ at heart of Budget

FDF praise ‘productivity & innovation’ at heart of Budget

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has praised the “productivity and innovation” of his week’s Spring Budget.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to improve productivity, boost R&D and help bridge the skills gap. Access to a skilled workforce is particularly pressing for food and drink manufacturing as we require an additional 130,000 new recruits by 2024,” Said Ian Wright CBE, Director General, Food and Drink Federation.

He added: “It is important that food and drink manufacturing as a sector is fully recognised in the new technical qualifications and we look forward to being closely involved in their implementation.”

“It was also pleasing to see details of how the £4.7 billion from the National Productivity Investment Fund announced at Autumn statement will be invested in science and innovation. A number of global food and drink companies have already chosen to base their R&D centres here and we want the UK to be the number one location of choice for others too.

“The revision of the R&D tax credits system was something we had asked government for and we support. Increasing simplicity around the process for claiming R&D tax credits will benefit companies of all sizes – and SMEs particularly.

On the subject of the continually contentious topic of sugar, Mr Wright said: “We continue to oppose the Soft Drinks Industry Levy because of its undue focus on sugar (as opposed to calories) and because there is no evidence that it will reduce obesity.

“Consequently, while we’re pleased to see the Chancellor acknowledge the efforts made by soft drinks manufacturers to reduce sugar levels in their products, we continue to believe that implementation of the Levy should be paused while such good progress is being made voluntarily.”