Director’s Weekly News – 12th February

Dear All,

The Weekly News for 12th February is below.

Please scroll to the end to see important information on HSE and FDF events and WRAPs Newsletter.

Have a good week.

Gordon Polson -Director

SAVE THE DATE:  FOB AGM and Annual Conference – Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 at One Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA.  Further details will be published soon.

Economic News

Barclays Economic Summary: British service sector is missing out on stronger growth seen elsewhere across Europe as Brexit uncertainty appears to take its toll, likely providing support to the most peaceful members of the MPC in the week ended 9th feb’18. Service activity declined to the weakest in 16 months while the equivalent measure for the euro area came in the strongest in more than a decade. Despite below-average levels of activity, companies remained generally optimistic regarding their prospects.  

Bank of England: Monetary Policy Summary: The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 7 February 2018, the MPC  voted unanimously to maintain bank rate at 0.5%. The committee voted unanimously to maintain the stock of sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, at £10 billion. The committee also voted unanimously to maintain the stock of UK government bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, at £435 billion.

The MPCs latest projections for output and inflation are set out in detail in the accompanying February inflation report. The global economy is growing at its fastest pace in seven years. The expansion is becoming increasingly broad-based and investment driven. Notwithstanding recent volatility in financial markets, global financial conditions remain supportive.UK net trade is benefiting from robust global demand and the past depreciation of sterling. Along with high rates of profitability, the low cost of capital and limited spare capacity, strong global activity is supporting business investment, Although it remains restrained by Brexit-related uncertainties. Household consumption growth is expected to remain relatively subdued, reflecting weak real income growth. GDP growth is expected to average around 1¾% over the forecast, a slightly faster pace than was projected in November despite the updated projections being conditioned on the higher market-implied path for interest rates and stronger exchange rate prevailing in financial markets at the time of the Forecast. While modest by historical standards, that rate of growth is still expected to exceed the diminished rate of supply growth. Following its annual assessment of the supply side of the economy, the MPC judges that the UK economy has only a very limited degree of slack and that its supply capacity will grow only modestly over the forecast, averaging around 1½% per year. This reflects lower growth in labour supply and rates of productivity growth that are around half of their pre-crisis average. As growth in demand outpaces that of supply, a small margin of excess demand emerges by early2020 and builds thereafter. CPI inflation fell from 3.1% in November to 3.0% in December. Inflation is expected to remain around 3% in the short term, reflecting recent higher oil prices. More generally, sustained above-target inflation remains almost entirely due to the effects of higher import prices following sterling’s past depreciation. These external forces slowly dissipate over the forecast, while domestic inflationary pressures are expected to rise. The firming of shorter-term measures of wage growth in recent quarters, and a range of survey indicators that suggests pay growth will rise further in response to the tightening labour market, give increasing confidence that growth in wages and unit labour costs will pick up to target‑consistent rates. On balance, CPI inflation is projected to fall back gradually over the forecast but remain above the 2% target in the second and third years of the MPC’s central projection. As in previous reports, the MPC’s projections are conditioned on the average of a range of possible outcomes for the United Kingdom’s eventual trading relationship with the European union. The projections also assume that, in the interim, households and companies base their decisions on the expectation of a smooth adjustment to that new trading relationship. Developments regarding the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European union — and in particular the reaction of households, businesses and asset prices to them — remain the most significant influence on, and source of uncertainty about, the economic outlook. In such exceptional circumstances, the MPC’s remit specifies that the inflation report February 2018 Committee must balance any trade-off between the speed at which it intends to return inflation sustainably to the target and the support that monetary policy provides to jobs and activity. Over the past year, a steady absorption of slack has reduced the degree to which it was appropriate for the MPC to accommodate an extended period of inflation above the target. Consequently, at its November 2017 meeting, the Committee tightened modestly the stance of monetary policy in order to return inflation sustainably to the target. Since November, the prospect of a greater degree of excess demand over the forecast period and the expectation that Inflation would remain above the target have further diminished the trade-off that the MPC is required to balance. It is therefore appropriate to set monetary policy so that inflation returns sustainably to its target at a more conventional Horizon. The committee judges that, were the economy to evolve broadly in line with the February inflation report projections, monetary policy would need to be tightened somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater extent over the forecast period than anticipated at the time of the November report, in order to return inflation sustainably to the target.

In light of these considerations, all members thought that the current policy stance remained appropriate to balance the demands of the MPC’s remit. Any future increases in bank rate are expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited Extent. The committee will monitor closely the incoming evidence on the evolving economic outlook, and stands ready To respond to developments as they unfold to ensure a sustainable return of inflation to the 2% target.



Brexit: FoB is amongst 36 signatories of a Brexit statement issued to the media by the NFU.




Food is essential to us all.  The UK food chain is passionate about providing a safe, affordable and secure supply of food for the country. However, Brexit presents an unprecedented challenge to the affordability, availability, and choice of food for UK consumers.


The UK’s food and drink supply chain is highly diverse, supporting more than one in ten jobs and contributing £112bn to the UK economy. It stretches from the farmers who produce the raw ingredients, through the businesses that supply them with seed, feed, inputs and advice, to the industries that purchase their goods and manufacture, process and sell them on to other businesses and ultimately to consumers.


All of these businesses will be deeply affected when our membership of the European Union ceases. Many currently rely on a high proportion of non-UK permanent and seasonal labour sourced from within the EU; many are part of highly sophisticated and integrated supply chains that rely on the free flow of goods between the UK and other EU member states, free of tariffs, veterinary and customs check, and subject only to necessary phytosanitary checks; and many operate under an array of regulations and programmes derived from Brussels and applicable to all EU businesses. It is clear that the effect of the decision to leave the European Union is already being felt in the sector as uncertainty and lack of clarity impacts business confidence.


The UK food supply sector has come together to establish a common view of the objectives the UK government should pursue as it negotiates the UK’s withdrawal, establishes its future relationship with the EU, and puts in place domestic policies.


We urgently call on the government:


– to maintain free and frictionless trade with our major trading partner, the EU, and secure the benefits of existing EU preferential trade arrangements, at least until government can replace them with acceptable alternative arrangements,


– to ensure ongoing access to an adequate supply of permanent and seasonal labour,


– to continue to promote food production through agricultural policy alongside our existing high environmental, health and animal welfare standards, and


– to ensure businesses operate under an efficient and proportionate regulatory system that is centred on scientific evaluation and that incentivises innovation and competitiveness.


?And sitting above all these, the government must be unqualified in its support for the UK’s food supply chain and the business of food production, explicitly recognising their importance in post-Brexit Britain – in managing over 70% of the UK landmass that is farmed; in providing 3.9 million jobs in industries both pre- and post-farmgate; in contributing to two of the UK economy’s big success stories: UK manufacturing and retail; and in providing a safe, secure and affordable supply of food to some of the highest health, welfare and environmental standards in the world.


We acknowledge our role in making Brexit a success – in improving productivity, competitiveness and driving growth in the economy, in creating jobs, and in achieving a more sustainable food supply system that minimises the impact our businesses have on the environment. But a Brexit that fails to champion UK food producers and the businesses that rely on them will be bad for the country’s landscape, the economy and critically our society.


We call on the UK government to agree as a matter of priority on the terms of a transition deal that provides clarity, continuity and certainty for UK farms and food businesses as well as for consumers. Furthermore, we call on the government to take a constructive approach to the negotiations and to the task of establishing domestic policies in a post-Brexit Britain, working with devolved governments, the UK food and drink supply chain to ensure it champions and promotes our crucial food sector in all its many constituent parts.


You can find the full list of signatories here:



Date Marking and Food Waste: The European Commission has published the final report of the “Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention” (written by ICF in association with Anthesis, Brook Lyndhurst and WRAP). Key highlights from the study were presented at the meeting of the EU Platform in November 2017;  a dedicated sub-group on date marking will now be established in order to further discuss the findings and their implications for food waste prevention. The Platform will be kept informed of the establishment of the sub-group on date marking which we expect to be convened ahead of the next plenary, to be held in Vilnius on 24 May. You can find a link to the news item here and the updated date marking and food waste webpage here.



WRAP Newsletter:


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New £500k fund to increase surplus food redistribution. Apply now!



A new fund has opened providing grants for not-for-profit organisations working in surplus food redistribution. The Food Waste Reduction Fund, provided by Defra and managed by WRAP, can provide grants for such areas as training, infrastructure, partnerships, communications and technology. Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said, “I look forward to the fund receiving bids from charities to redistribute surplus food.”



Your guide to successful dating

New guidance sets out best practice in the choice and application of date labels and storage advice. The guidance, published by WRAP in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra, brings together recommendations that ensures food is safe and adheres to legal requirements, with best practice information to ensure it is stored and used within time. It is already proving popular with food manufacturers, retailers and brands, and we are confident it will soon be established as the industry standard.

Welcoming the new guidance Thérèse Coffey said that “the new guidance will make packaging much clearer for consumers, saving them money and reducing waste.” The FSA’s Chairman, Heather Hancock, said: “I welcome this clear guidance to help tackle food waste, without compromising the safety of food.” 



The principles of food waste measurement


In partnership with IGD, WRAP has produced new Food waste measurement principles and resources to enable a consistent and effective approach to food waste measurement and management. A new blog post from WRAP’s Peter Maddox explains the importance of measuring business food waste.

Additional guidance is available to help hospitality and food service businesses measure, manage and report food waste. The guidance has been produced in partnership with waste management companies, technology providers and leading hospitality and food service organisations. Steve Packer, Head of Supply Chain, Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, said: “The results of this great collaboration mean that my business will now have access to really good data, to allow us to make really good decisions, ultimately leading to a reduction in food waste.”



Courtauld 2025 Year One: setting the foundations for change

We recently published the Courtauld Commitment Annual Review 2016-17, encompassing the work underway through the food & drink sector voluntary agreement in its first year. The review covers campaigns, pilot projects, research and other activities demonstrating that work is truly taking place ‘from farm to fork’.

Helen Munday, Director of Food Safety, Science and Sustainability and Chief Scientific Officer for the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), was among the government and industry leaders welcoming the Review: “As an engagement partner to Courtauld 2025, the FDF is pleased to see activity during the first year in a number of key areas, and specifically focused on food waste reduction.”



More businesses join the food waste fight



Courtauld 2025 continues to attract big names. New signatory Ocado’s Head of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs, Suzanne Westlake, said: “Considering the challenges facing the food and drink industry, we believe the Courtauld Commitment 2025 is well placed to contribute to addressing these.” Graeme Tolmie, Group Environmental Manager for Cranswick Plc commented: “Delivering this commitment forms a major part of our Group sustainability strategy.” Andy Wright, Head of CSR, Tulip Ltd, said: “We have achieved so much in last 5 years, and we’re massively excited to push the boundaries with WRAP’s support through Courtauld 2025.”



Signatory summit success



Courtauld 2025’s recent signatory summit in London heard from speakers including Defra Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey, David Bellamy from the FDF and INCPEN CEO Paul Vanston. Topics under discussion included plastics and packaging, the importance of whole chain collaboration and WRAP’s new citizen engagement initiative.



Helping more food businesses throw away less food



WRAP’s ‘Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away’ campaign is building change across the hospitality and food service (HaFS) sector, with more and more businesses taking simple steps to monitor, measure and reduce their food waste and save money. Recent campaigns with industry leaders including the British Hospitality Association, the Sustainable Restaurant AssociationBidfood and TRiFOCAL have helped spread the message even further. Hot off the presses is this fantastic video from brewery Frederic Robinsons, explaining how they’ve improved profits by throwing away less food.

We recently launched ‘Your Business is Food’ for food manufacturers, supported by industry partners including the FDF. A starter pack offers practical guidance on why and how to take action on food waste, and includes a food waste checklist, action plan and cost calculator.



Making money from waste

Want to find out how to generate – or increase – your business’s income from unavoidable wastes and by-products? UK food and drink producers, manufacturers and retailers are invited to a free WRAP Cymru event in Cardiff next month to find out more about the opportunities available.



Look out for the new Love Food Hate Waste campaign launching in spring. Make Toast Not Waste will encourage people to get creative and experiment with different toppings on their toast to get the most from their bread. Contact Jenny Carr if you’d like to find out more.

Love Food Hate Waste’s new online Portion Planner helps people to buy just the right amount of food they need. The simple to use tool works out how much of each food type you need to buy and cook for each person, for each meal. Catch up with the Love Food Hate Waste community on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.



Award-winning London food campaign



TRiFOCAL, WRAP’s EU-funded campaign helping Londoners get to grips with food waste prevention, food waste recycling and healthy sustainable eating, was recently awarded Footprint’s 2018 Health & Vitality Communication & Engagement Honours.

New videos from TRiFOCAL feature highlights, chef interviews and case studies from industry leaders, including Cyrus Todiwala, on the business benefits of reducing food waste. For more details contact or visit the Small Change Big Difference website.



Courtauld news


Aldi has pledged to halve its operational food waste by 2030, by extending its commitments under Courtauld 2025, working with WRAP to engage suppliers and improve logistics in its supply chain, and building up efforts with surplus food redistributors. Aldi has also joined the UN network Friends of Champions 12.3, the movement to halve food loss and waste worldwide by 2030.


Hannah Blythyn, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, visited Courtauld 2025 signatory Iceland Food Limited at their head office just before Christmas, to hear their plans to tackle waste in the supply chain. During the visit, arranged by WRAP Cymru, the Minister praised WRAP’s work including Love Food Hate Waste’s ‘Give a Cluck’ campaign as well as Courtauld 2025, saying, “I would encourage other companies across Wales to sign up to the Courtauld agreement.”


WRAP’s work with NIAB and Courtauld 2025 signatory Agrimetrics has identified a large range in potato yields, with some growers achieving double that of others. Some variability is due to weather and factors outside of the growers’ control, but NIAB’s Potato Crop Manager tool is highlighting opportunities to improve. The project is following the crop through spring and summer 2018 to monitor how much is packed and sold to customers. The final results will be shared with industry in the autumn.



Pass it on!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this update please do tweet, post, share and forward it to friends and colleagues who might be interested.





HSE Upcoming Training Courses and Events. The full schedule can be seen here.

Site and Transport Safety

15 February & 1 March 2018
Training & Conference Unit, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN

This course will help you understand the legal requirements of both road traffic law and workplace safety law, how and why things go wrong, and how you can take practicable steps to reduce risk in your business.


Book your place for 15 Feb online here
Book your place for 1 Mar by emailing

HSE Inspectors’ Guide to Electrical Safety

13 March 2018
Training & Conference Unit, Harpur Hill, Buxton, SK17 9JN


This one day workshop will give you a practical understanding of what HSE inspectors are looking for in the control of general electrical safety risks, including the risk and appropriate controls. You’ll review high risk electrical safety issues together with the appropriate controls and understand the practical application of HSE’s Enforcement Management Model.

Book your place here

Stair Assessment

15 March 2018
Training & Conference Unit, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN

In the UK there is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds (BS 5395-1:2010). This course will help you understand the design features of stairs which can give rise to a risk of falling, and identify simple remedial improvements to reduce the likelihood of a fall.


Book your place here



Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Summit

21 March 2018 
QEII Centre, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE

At HSE’s first ever Work-Related MSD Summit you’ll hear what HSE is doing to achieve significant improvements in preventing and controlling exposure to MSDs, what action you can take and how current scientific thinking is starting to shape new approaches to tackling workplace MSDs.


Book your place here

For further details please email


HSE Newsletter:




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HSE’s Food & Drink Manufacture eBulletin No 25

HSE’s Food & Drink Manufacture Webpages

This free eBulletin from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to provide you with specific updates, news and information that may be of interest to Food & Drink industries.


News from HSE

HSE food manufacturing inspections target the causes of workplace ill-health

Companies and people working in food manufacturing are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace health risks or face serious penalties. HSE’s programme of unannounced proactive inspections began at the beginning of January and focusses on two of the main causes of ill-health in the sector occupational asthma from exposure to flour dust in bakeries, cake and biscuit manufacturers and grain mills, and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

In case you missed it, HSE recently tweeted a warning that flour dust can lead to occupational asthma, and included this video showing how using a low dust flour will lower flour wastage and vastly reduce dust emission/worker exposure.

These visits coincide with HSE’s recently launched Manufacturing Sector Plan which prioritises the reduction of cases of Occupational Lung Disease and MSDs.

HSE have also issued a press release on the inspection campaign and this can be found on HSE’s Website.


Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Summit – March 21st, QE11 Centre, London

Over 30% of food and drink industry injuries reported to HSE are manual handling injuries such as back injuries. HSE’s current inspections are targeting causes of ill-health in the food and drink manufacturing industry and this includes musculoskeletal disorders.

Find out more about how to manage the risks from MSD’s in your workplace by attending the first ever HSE MSD Summit on March 21st in London. Hear what action you can take and how current scientific thinking is starting to shape new and re-energised approaches to tackling workplace MSD’s.

There are also some sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available for the event.

British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) Health and Safety Seminar – February 22nd, Birmingham

BFFF’s health and safety seminar is in its 9th year and is to be held at the Birmingham Metropole Hotel on February 22nd 2018. The event is designed to provide members with guidance on a multitude of topical health and safety matters delivered by short sharp presentations and case studies.

Prof Tim Marsh is the keynote speaker. When at UMIST, he was one of the team leaders of the original UK research into behavioural safety in the early 1990s and is considered a world authority on the subject of behavioural safety, safety leadership and organisational culture. He was awarded a “President’s Commendation” in 2008 by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management and was selected to be their first ever ‘Specialist Fellow’.  Details of the full programme can be found on BFFF’s Website.

To book a place visit BFFF’s Webpage.

New Regulations and Consultations

New Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 – went live on 1 January 2018

Do you work with ionising radiation? A new set of Ionising Radiation Regulations come into force on 1 January 2018. One of the changes introduced by these revised Regulations is the introduction of a risk-based approach to telling HSE of your work with ionising radiation. For more information and the reporting procedures visit HSE’s Radiation Webpages.

Fines and Prosecutions

Hull bakery manufacturer fined after contractors death

A Hull based bakery has been fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £30,000 following the death of a self-employed electrical contractor who died following a fall from height while wiring a motor situated above a machine whilst standing on a stepladder. More information on the accident and prosecution can be found on HSE’s Press Release.

HSE’s Working at Height Webpages has information on pre-use checks before using ladders.

Lancashire bakery fined after worker becomes trapped in machinery

A Lancashire bakery has been fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £3,000 after a 32-year-old baker was injured at its premises in Barnoldswick when he became trapped in a food-mixing machine.  More information on the accident and prosecution can be found on HSE’s Press Release.

Food manufacturer fined after worker’s fingers severed

An Essex based food manufacturer has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £8,500 after a worker had four fingers amputated while operating a metal working lathe while cleaning steel shafts. More information on the accident and prosecution can be found on HSE’s Press Release.


Information on a wide range of food and drink manufacture health and safety topics and issues is available on HSE’s food and drink website.

This bulletin provides a sample of the wide range of information that can be found under ‘What’s New’ on HSE’s website.

Please feel free to use this information and pass it on, using your own networks.

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FDF Webinars
7 Feb 2018


Dear Gordon,

FDF professional affiliates offer services to the food and drink sector; and we want our members to benefit from their knowledge and insight through these webinars.

First up is a session covering copying, with the British Brands Group:

20 Feb 2018: Parasitic Copying

This webinar will scrutinise copying, how shoppers are fooled, how brand owners can protect themselves and what do if you become subject to copying. Session at 11:00.

All sessions are FREE to attend and you can be anywhere as long as you have a laptop and internet connection. They will each be approximately 30 minutes of presentation followed by 20 minutes of Q&A.

Find below the list of all other upcoming dates, and there will be more to be confirmed.

Click on the links to find out more about the agenda, presenters and to secure your place.

28 Feb 2018: From Environmental Management to Sustainability

This webinar will explore the risks and opportunities of advancing environmental performance, and the pathways organisations can use to move from environmental management into sustainability management. Sessions at 12:30 and 15:30.

20 Mar 2018: Your IP, Your Risk

Intellectual property (IP) is a critical and valuable commodity for any business and not protecting it can prove costly. Start-ups and small businesses often neglect intellectual property or try and do it themselves, sometimes with devastating effects. Having a well thought-out strategy for protecting the IP of a company’s products is imperative for ensuring shareholder value and security. Session at 11:00.

20 Mar 2018: GDPR in the Food & Drink sector – is your business ready?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most radical transformation of data protection rules in decades. Being unprepared could mean million in fines. In this webinar, international law firm CMS will provide a high level overview of GDPR, due to come into effect on 25 May 2018. CMS will discuss the key implications of GDPR for organisations in the food and drink sector in the UK, including what is going to change in terms of data privacy and key actions for your business to take now in order to ensure compliance with the new rules.

27 Apr 2018: What is Digitalisation?

This webinar will cover simple cost effective solutions to actively manage the production facility from reactive maintenance / breakdown to proactive planned asset management. Session at 11.







Open as a web or plain text version.


Free Event – Cyber Security
22 February 2018


Is your business prepared for a cyber-attack?

Join FDF and our expert speakers for this free one-day event on cyber security to gain an understanding of the steps you can take to protect your business. From specific cyber security risks in the production process, to elements of human error and oversight, this event will help you develop a robust risk management strategy.

New Speakers announced! Guest speakers from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Metaphor IT

We will cover topics such as:

  • Who is attempting to access your systems and why?
  • Where are you vulnerable?
  • Cyber risks in the production line
  • Protecting your reputation in the event of an attack
  • What are your legal responsibilities?
  • Emerging technologies and their vulnerabilities
    and many more…

Speakers include: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), British Standards Institution (BSI), Metaphor IT, Siemens, Finn Communications, Hanover Comms and Squire Patton Boggs with more to be announced.

FREE to attend!

Register now »

Cyber Security: Protecting Your Business
22 February 2018, 9am start
FDF, 10 Bloomsbury Way, London