Ian Wright CBE, FDF Chief Executive said:

“Today’s Spending Review announcement will be broadly welcomed by the food and drink industry, particularly the Chancellor’s commitment to additional investment in skills. The lifetime skills guarantee will be key to helping upskill the UK’s workforce, whilst Kickstart, the Youth Offer and other schemes will provide much needed additional support to those younger people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

“It is encouraging too to see further money committed to R&D, which we hope will deliver long-terms benefits for food and drink manufacturers across the country. We welcome the introduction of the Shared Prosperity Fund for the devolved administrations and look forward to seeing how that money will be used to support the food and drink sectors in Wales and Scotland.”

“Today’s announcement presented a unique opportunity for the Chancellor to show his support for the food and drink supply chain and its 4.3m employees – sectors severely impacted by the Government’s closure of the hospitality industry. This was his chance to help put us back on the path to long-term growth and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Government’s independent trade policy.

“If the government wishes to further support UK industry it must also consider whether it presses ahead with those policies which would deter investment and suffocate profitability. Proposals such as the proposed online advertising ban on HFSS foods would impact a broad swathe of products and inhibit innovation across our industry.”

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