FOB Chief Executive Weekly News – 14th September 2020

Dear All,

Back from my break detailed below is the Weekly News and Covid Update for 14th September.

Have a good week.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

Barclays Economic Update:

UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6% in jul’20

According to data published by the office for national statistics (ONS), UK GDP grew by 6.6% in jul’20. Although GDP has increased for the third consecutive month, it remained 11.7% lower than the pre-covid level in feb’20.

In terms of sectors, all primary sectors reported a monthly increase in output in jul’20. Monthly output in the service sector increased by 6.1%, production sector by 5.2% and construction sector by 17.6% during the same period.

I the three months to jul’20, GDP decreased by 7.6% with declines reported across the majority of sectors. Index of services decreased by 8.1% and index of production decreased by 3.5% during the same period.

Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics, stated that while the UK economy is growing steadily, it has only recovered over half of the output lost due to covid-19. He further added that, all manufacturing sub-sectors recorded improvement in jul’20, but the production and construction output remain below the pre-covid levels.  

GDP decreased by 11.8% and employment by 2.9% in q2’20 in the euro area

According to data published by eurostat, in q2’20, seasonally adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 11.8% in the euro area and by 11.4% in the european union (EU), compared to q1’20. GDP decreased by 3.7% in the euro area and by 3.3% in the EU in q1’20.

In q2’20, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 14.7% in the euro area and by 13.9% in the EU, compared to the same period last year.

In terms of employment, the estimated number of employed persons in the euro area in q2’20 decreased by 2.9% and in the EU by 2.7% compared to q1’20. These were observed as the largest decreases since records began. In q1’20, employment decreased by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU.

In q2’20 employment numbers decreased by 3.1% in the euro area and by 2.9%$ in the EU, compared to q2’19.

In terms of GDP components, the contributions from the household final consumption expenditure, external balance and government final expenditure were negative, while the contribution of changes in inventories was marginally positive in the euro area in q2’20. Household final consumption expenditure decreased by 12.4% and gross fixed capital formation decreased by 17.0% in the euro area. Meanwhile, exports decreased by 18.8% and imports decreased by 18.0% in the euro area during the same period.

Shared Audit Programme Launched for the Food Industry

Intertek and Roquette have jointly launched a shared audit programme for the food industry.

The shared audit programme would facilitate evaluation of the same supplier by multiple food companies simultaneously. This could be performed through a single third-party audit while maintaining an adequate level of quality and safety.

Through this program, audits would be conducted by experts and tailor-made audit reports would be produced. The approach is expected to save time and provide assistance with the current covid-19 practices.

Defra Covid Update:

Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app. The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues. QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues.

Booking process for Covid-19 Tests

DHSC has digitised the process for booking Covid-19 tests. The portal enables individuals to book a test themselves, accessible via

Alternatively, employers can refer staff using an employer portal. Accounts for this portal can be requested by emailing

PHE publishes new voluntary calorie guidelines for food industry

Public Health England (PHE) has published new, voluntary calorie guidelines for the food industry as it asks the food industry to support national efforts to tackle obesity and protect people against Covid-19.  It hopes the voluntary calorie reduction guidelines will make it easier for the nation to choose healthier options as they purchase food. Updating the voluntary guidelines, which aim to reduce calories in food by up to 20% by 2024, has been a longstanding Government commitment, but it has taken on added urgency as recent evidence has clearly linked obesity with a higher risk of worse health outcomes if people contract Covid-19.  The guidelines call for a 20% calorie reduction for most meal categories in the eating out of home, takeaway and delivery sector, alongside a maximum calorie guideline for all categories. A 10% calorie reduction “ambition” has been set to reflect progress already made for children’s “meal bundles”.  A 10% calorie reduction ambition has also been set for retailers making ready meals, chips and garlic bread, alongside a maximum calorie guideline for all categories. Combined guidelines for both sectors have been set for sandwiches (5% ambition) and pizza and pastry products (20% ambition); with another 5% ambition for crisps and savoury snacks.

Voluntary salt reduction targets

PHE has also published new, voluntary salt reduction targets to encourage food companies to reduce salt levels further in the foods that contribute most to salt intakes.  The UK’s salt reduction programme has been admired worldwide but, despite good progress in some categories, PHE says more needs to be done to help reduce salt intake from the current average of 8.4g per day towards the recommended 6g – a reduction of around a third of a teaspoon, which would help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.  PHE’s second progress report on salt reduction highlights good progress in categories, such as bread and breakfast cereals.  PHE’s Chief Nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, said that the voluntary reformulation programme is “about broadening choice for consumers, as well as making the healthier choice the easy choice. Progress to date on sugar and salt reduction has shown that this can happen without compromising on taste and quality.”  The food industry’s progress against the reformulation programme’s ambitions will be monitored with reports on calorie and salt reduction expected in 2022. The Government remains committed to further action if positive results are not achieved.

Reorganisation of public health responsibilities

The Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, has commended the “excellent” work of expert teams currently located in Public Health England (PHE) which will continue to advise Ministers on health improvement and preventing ill-health.  She also confirmed that the Government does not envisage any changes to where those responsibilities will sit before spring 2021.  The Government will be “engaging with an external stakeholder advisory group to develop options on where PHE’s health improvement functions would be best placed in order to support the public health system and improve the public’s health.”


Weekly Digest eBulletin

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Stakeholder eBulletin

You were chosen to receive this bulletin because of the influence you have on others in your industry.


Please share it with your networks; you can help to save lives.


For the latest news visit our website.

Social distancing in the workplace

Social distancing should form part of your business’s risk assessment and is one of the steps needed to make your workplace COVID-secure.

We have published information to help you put measures in place in your workplace to monitor, supervise and maintain social distancing. You must ensure that workers and other people visiting your workplace understand and comply with the measures.


Where possible you should keep people 2m apart. If this is not viable, keeping 1m apart with risk mitigation is acceptable.


In the UK some rules such as social distancing may be different in each of the devolved nations. However, HSE regulates in all these countries. You should check the public health guidance for the country you are in:

Spot Inspections in Bolton and Trafford

Both Bolton and Trafford have had local lockdown measures imposed as the number of COVID-19 cases rise. To ensure businesses are following the COVID-secure guidelines, HSE inspectors are carrying out spot inspections on local businesses.

HSE is calling and visiting businesses in both areas to provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers. Where employers are not managing this, HSE will take immediate action.


All businesses are in scope for inspections. Any size of business, in any sector can receive an unannounced inspection. If you are contacted, you must cooperate and engage with our inspectors.


Read more about the approach we are taking and what we are discovering from our inspections in Bolton and Trafford in our press release.

End of UK transition period – stay up to date and get your business ready (chemicals industry guidance)

The UK will enter into a new relationship with the EU on the 1 January 2021, when the transition period ends. There are changes you will need to be aware of to ensure your business is prepared for the UK’s new start.

To ensure you receive information as soon as it becomes available, we have set up a registration alert for changes to:

  • the application process for biocidal active substances and products
  • obligations under classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) regulations

To make sure you receive the information you need to get your business ready, sign-up at our website.


For further advice on the things you might need to check and change in your business before the transition period ends, go to GOV.UK

Test and trace update from Department for Health and Social Care

Below is an update on the latest guidance and materials for NHS Test and Trace.

‘Hands. Face. Space’ campaign


The government has launched the new ‘Hands. Face. Space’ campaign which seeks to remind the public of 3 crucial behaviours we all need to adopt in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and protect each other.


For more information, watch the government video.


New measures to suppress the virus


From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses.


The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance.


Employer guidance testing


Alongside the NHS Test and Trace service, the government is aware that some employers may want to introduce their own internal testing programmes.


The government has published guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers on voluntary testing in the workplace, to ensure all new private testing programmes are:

  • as reliable and effective as possible
  • developed in accordance with legal obligations and best practice

Contact tracing arrangements for workplaces in Wales and Scotland


Guidance is also available outlining the COVID-19 contact tracing arrangements for workplaces in Scotland and Wales.

You can get all the latest news and updates from HSE across a range of industries and topics.

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