Thirty-two UK food industry leaders have urged the government to put a halt to consultations affecting the industry until Brexit has been dealt with. 

In a letter sent to environment secretary Michael Gove on 8 February, the industry bodies stated they were unable to submit valid responses because their schedules were too busy preparing for a no-deal.

One consultation in particular under threat is that of the restriction on promotions of food and drink that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), which closes on 6 April. 

The letter read: “At this moment of potential crisis in our industry, it cannot be ‘business as usual’ within government. Businesses throughout the UK food chain […] are now totally focused on working to mitigate the catastrophic impact of a no-deal Brexit. Large amounts of time, money, people and efforts are being diverted to that end.”

Trade bodies the Food and Drink Federation and the National Farmers’ Union both said they may not participate in future policy consultations if the government ignored their concerns. 

Who signed the letter?

  • Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation
  • Paul Rooke, Head of Policy, Agricultural Industries Confederation
  • Andrew Pollard, President, Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers
  • Pete Robertson, President, Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers
  • David Camp, Chief Executive, Association of Labour Providers
  • Chris Stemman, Director, British Coffee Association
  • Walter Anzer, Director General, British Food Importers and Distributors Association
  • John Hyman, Chief Executive, British Frozen Food Federation
  • Jack Ward, Chief Executive, British Growers Association
  • Nick Allen, Chief Executive Officer, British Meat Processors Association
  • Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive, British Poultry Association
  • Declan O’Brien, Director General, British Specialist Nutrition Association
  • Nick Bennett, Chairman, Council for Responsible Nutrition UK
  • Judith Bryans, Chief Executive, Dairy UK
  • Gordon Polson, Director, Federation of Bakers
  • James Bielby, Chief Executive, Federation of Wholesale Distributors
  • Nigel Jenny, Chief Executive, Fresh Produce Consortium
  • David Thomson, Chief Executive Officer, Food and Drink Federation Scotland
  • Andy Richardson, Chairman, Food and Drink Wales Industry Board
  • Graham Keen, Executive Director, Health Food Manufacturers’ Association
  • Liz Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, International Meat Trade Association
  • Bob Price, Director and Policy Advisor, National Association of Cider Manufacturers
  • Terry Jones, Director General, National Farmers’ Union
  • Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association
  • Dick Searle, Chief Executive, Packaging Federation
  • Andrew Curtis, Director General, Potato Processors’ Association
  • Andrew Kuyk CBE, Director General, Provision Trade Federation
  • James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food and Drink
  • Simon Cripps, Executive Chairman, Seasoning and Spice Association
  • James Smith, Chairman, UK Flavour Association
  • Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer, UK Hospitality
  • Dr. Sharon Hall, Chief Executive, UK Tea & Infusions Association