UK government creates Food and Drink Sector Council to boost growth

UK manufacturers are welcoming the government’s creation of a Food and Drink Sector Council which will aim to promote industry growth and increase exports in the post-Brexit era. The white paper, published today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and available outlines the government’s plan to create industrial clusters around the country to promote growth as the country leaves the EU. The paper cites the example of the Norwich Research Park, an agri-tech research centre with an annual research expenditure of over £230m (€257m). The site also houses 70 research-based business companies and in 2018 will be opening the Quadram Institute, specialising in genetic research on the role microbiomes play in human health and disease. “This is already attracting the attention of major food businesses worldwide,” said the paper. Trade group, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said it hoped the council would generate growth for the industry, particularly with regard to exports. Although food and drink exports have been increasing over recent years, FDF said that four out of five manufacturers do not export to foreign markets. The U.K.’s food & farming industry employs almost 4 million people and is worth £112 Billion.