In a letter to board members of Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, the Prime Minister said he recognised the important economic contribution food and drink made to the UK economy and expressed his support for a co-ordinated approach across the industry supply chain to improving competitiveness, public health and sustainability.
Improve chief executive Jack Matthews said: “Since the coalition took power, a lot of people in the industry have been working very hard behind the scenes to engage with the government on a number of critical issues we feel are important not just to our industry but to the economy as a whole.
“What we have been saying is, as an industry which across its supply chain employs some 3.6 million people and is worth £79.5 billion (GVA) to the economy, we think we can play a pivotal role in kick-starting the economy again, through things like job creation and adding value to overseas trade. But we also need support from the government in the form of investment and policies, which help us to address skills gaps and improve productivity, to improve efficiency and sustainability across the supply chain, and to maintain a safe, healthy and secure food supply without businesses becoming unnecessarily burdened with regulation.
“It is very pleasing that we have been able to establish what is now a very healthy dialogue with government.”www.improve-skills.co.uk