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Food And Drink Supply Chain Calls For Action To Restore Labour Market Confidence
In an unprecedented act of cooperation, representatives from over 30 representative bodies in the UK food supply chain have signed an open letter calling on the Government to act to bring confidence to the labour market.
UK food and drink is a vital core of our national infrastructure. Nearly four million people are employed in growing, harvesting, producing, packaging, selling and serving our food and drink. The hospitality industry alone generates 1 in 8 of all new jobs in the UK, while food manufacturing contributes more to the economy than the automotive and aerospace sectors combined. Food and drink exports are worth £18bn, with Scotch Whisky, chocolate, beer and salmon our top exports by value.
The issues at the heart of the UK’s future relationship with the EU are beginning to crystallise and so it is imperative that the strategic importance of food and drink to our nation’s economic and physical wellbeing is recognised and its future secured. In recent years, Britain has enjoyed access to a wider range of safe, high quality food and drink, at every price point, than ever before. At a time when household incomes are under increasing pressure, shop prices for food have been kept in check for more than three years. If that is to continue, the Government must ensure the place of food and drink in our new industrial strategy and it must place the sector’s priorities at the heart of the Brexit negotiations.
A significant element in our ability to deliver affordable and high-quality food and drink is the part played by workers from the European Union. Some of these people are already leaving the UK in the wake of the referendum result and the devaluation of Sterling. The Government can address this issue directly. It should offer unambiguous reassurance to EU workers throughout our supply chain about their right to remain here.
For the longer term it is important to recognise that these workers from the EU are highly flexible and provide a reservoir of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour without which the industry could not function. In fact, in some sectors of the food chain EU workers predominantly work in skilled and semi-skilled roles.
If we are to adopt a work permit system to control immigration, then it is vital that the whole of the food and drink supply chain receives equal treatment with financial services or the automotive sector. All options should be explored including a workable points based system for shortage occupations, sector-based and seasonal / guest worker schemes and effective transitionary arrangements. If they are not, the UK will face less food choice and higher food prices.
The food and drink industry has not always spoken with one voice. Today it has come together in the national interest to make the strongest possible case for UK food and drink. That voice must be heard and heeded. Ian Wright CBE Director General of the Food and Drink Federation
Co-signed by chief executives of the following organisations: Agricultural Industries Confederation Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers Association of Labour Providers Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers British Beer and Pubs Association British Coffee Association British Frozen Food Federation British Growers Association British Meat Processors Association British Poultry Council British Retail Consortium British Soft Drinks Association British Specialist Nutrition Association Federation of Bakers Food and Drink Exporters Association Fresh Produce Consortium International Meat Trade Association National Association of Catering Butchers National Association of British and Irish Millers National Association of Cider Makers National Farmers Union Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers’ Association Packaging Federation Petfood Manufacturers Association Potato Processors' Association Provision Trade Federation Scotland Food and Drink Seasoning and Spice Association UK Flavour Association
Clegg Food Projects Delivers On Greggs Distribution Centre
Clegg Food Projects has completed works on a new distribution centre for the UK’s leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer, Greggs.
Clegg Food Projects worked closely with Greggs to select a suitable site for the new centre, which is based in Enfield, as well as design and extend the distribution warehouse.
The new centre will improve efficiency and increase capacity for delivery of bakery products as well as shop consumables such as coffee cups and paper bags to Greggs’ stores in the south.
Business development director at Clegg Food Projects, John Moxon, said: “We’ve been working with Greggs for more than 15 years and delivered projects across the UK from Glasgow down to the south east. The distribution centre at Enfield has been developed from an existing distribution facility that has been extended, altered and refurbished to meet Greggs’ needs and marks our 19th project with the food-on-the-go retailer.
“It’s been a significant project for Greggs and a significant project for us, long may our relationship continue.”
Clegg Food Projects provides comprehensive consultancy, design, engineering and construction for the food industry. For more information about Clegg Food Projects visit www.cleggfoodprojects.co.uk
LPR Expands Capabilities With New Paint Booth At Castleford
Leading pallet pooling specialist LPR UK is celebrating following significant £500,000 investment in its facility at Castleford. The site now houses a state-of-the-art paint booth, helping to further grow the capabilities of the Yorkshire facility.
LPR’s Castleford depot has been up and running since May 2015. Designed firmly with safety in mind, the equipment used at the site has helped drive-up efficiency across all of the facility’s processes by minimising the amount of returned or pallets requiring repair.
Furthermore, the site is capable of holding over 60,000 pallets at any one time and includes under-cover storage facilities for 40,000 pallets – minimising the risk of moisture damage.
Adrian Fleming, regional director of LPR UK and Ireland, commented: “We’re delighted to announce this recent investment at Castleford. The facility has played an integral role in developing our UK-wide service offering, and we’re looking forward to building on this growth going forwards.
“2016 has been a very exciting year for LPR, and Castleford is a key part of this. Alongside the Yorkshire facility, we’ve also opened a new depot in Dublin, in partnership with Goggin’s, and have secured a raft of new – or extended – contract wins with the likes of Weetabix, Kellogg’s and ARYZTA.”
Simon Wood, operations manager for LPR UK and Ireland, added: “The cutting-edge paint booth at Castleford will help us to continue to grow our offering, while maintaining the high quality of service for which LPR is known. “We’re particularly excited at what the investment means for productivity at Castleford. The team is now able to inspect more pallets at a greater volume than ever before, meaning we can further increase the efficiency of the service we provide to our customers.”
To find out more about the full suite of services offered by LPR, visit the official website here