I have just read the recent Food Sector report prepared by Lloyds Bank which, as a member of Freeths food sector group makes for positive reading. Whilst not without challenges, the sector (being one of the largest of the UK manufacturing industries) is growing and will make a significant contribution to improving the UK manufacturing industry and the economy as a whole.
The majority of food businesses who participated predict job creation and growth in the coming years. Largely, it seems, through overseas trade but also through product innovation.
There are challenges such as the sustainability and cost of supply and also regulatory issues. However, those appear to be being met head on by the likes of the Efra (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) committee report on food security which proposes diversity in produce and policy reform and also the UK Food and Drink International Action Plan produced jointly by UKTI and Defra which sets out proposals to lift trade barriers and unlock new markets.
The UK government is also promoting the EU Protected Food Name Scheme in order to protect the authenticity and origin (and therefore the value) in foods which are in demand overseas. Examples of in the North West are Traditional Cumberland Sausage, Beacon Fell Lancashire Cheese and Lakeland Herdwick Sheep.
A link to the Lloyds report can be found here
Look out for more articles and blog posts from our food sector group in the coming months and please get in touch if you have any queries.