FOB Chief Executive’s Weekly New for 30th November 2020

Dear All,

The weekly News and Covid Update for 30th November is detailed below.

I just wanted to update you on the latest information I have on the following:

  1. Mass testing for the food industry-Yes this happening and we can expect more information next week. The food industry has been chosen as the first and is a bit of a coup.  I will be working with FDF over the next few days or so to get as much information as I can. What is not yet clear is exactly how any one business or plant gets the necessary testing kit to be able to start.
  2. Vaccines-the priority for vaccines is understandably not so clear and some way off but there is lobbying to try and ensure we can some kind of priority clearly following the other well documented priorities.
  3. Test and Trace-while our concern regarding the lack of visibility regarding who has tested positive is recognised, and our concerns will be passed on from Defra to the Test and Trace Authority, anonymity is built into the app and is unlikely to be changed.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

Barclays Economic Update: UK flash composite output index decreased to 47.4 in nov’20

According to data published by IHS Markit/CIPS, UK flash composite output index decreased to 47.4 in nov’20 from 52.1 in oct’20. The downturn was led by a decline in service sector output amid temporary business closures in the hospitality and leisure sector.

The seasonally adjusted HIS Markit/CIPS UK flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (pmi) increased to 55.2 in nov’20 from 53.7 in oct’20, supported by growth in purchases and production volumes.

The report indicated an increase in pre-production inventories, particularly attributed to Brexit uncertainty and a subsequent stocking of critical inputs before the end of the transition period. The increase in purchasing activity led to shipping delays amid bottlenecks at the UK ports, resulting in lengthening of supplier delivery times.

The seasonally adjusted HIS Markit/CIPS flash UK services pmi business activity index decreased to 45.8 in nov’20 from 51.4 in oct’20. Output reduced due to increased restrictions on trade due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was primarily concentrated in consumer-facing segments of the service economy.

Eurozone flash pmi composite output index decreased to 45.1 in nov’20

According to data published by HIS Markit/CIPS, flash eurozone pmi composite output index decreased to 45.1 in nov’20 from 50.0 in oct’20 as countries introduced additional measures to contain Covid-19 infection rates.

In terms of sector, flash eurozone manufacturing pmi output index decreased to 55.5 in nov’20 from 58.4 in oct’20, while flash eurozone services pmi activity index decreased to 41.3 in nov’20 from 46.9 in oct’20. While manufacturing output growth slowed in nov’20, service sector output continued to decline primarily due to weak demand in the hospitality, travel and consumer-facing companies.

Business activity slowed in Germany while a continued decline was recorded in France and other eurozone regions. In nov’20, the flash composite index for Germany stood at 52.0 and France at 39.9, compared to 55.0 and 47.5 in oct’20 respectively.

Retail Opening Hours: Writing in the Daily Telegraph the Robert Jenrick Secreatry of State for Housing, Communities ands Local Government has said local authorities will be able to waive the rules restricting retail opening hours in the run-up to Christmas and in January. Shopkeepers and local authorities would cdecide how long stores can stay open. The relaxation will be opermitted Monday to Saturday. There will also be relaxation over delivery times.


Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High: A series of posters displaying information about the various tiers of restrictions in England from 2 December 2020 are available at the this link.

Consensus statement emphasises importance of COVID-19-secure workplaces

A consensus statement on the best approach to reduce risk for workers, including those of ethnic minority groups, has been issued by PHE, HSE and FOM.

EU Exit Roundups:

Guidance: transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021

Guidance for haulage companies and commercial drivers moving goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union has been published.

Sign up for the Trader Support Service

There will be changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. You should act now to get your business ready for these changes. If you are not ready, you may not be able to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021. An easy way to get ready is to sign up for the free Trader Support Service (TSS).

Republic of Ireland and UK joint event: Movement of animals and Agri-Food goods to, from and through the GB from the 1st January, 2021 – your product’s journey

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Defra will present on control processes for imports and exports moving between Ireland and GB at an event on 3 December 2020 from 10:30-12:30. If you’re interested in attending you can find a registration link on DAFM’s website

FDF Updates: Please also see FDF’s updated questions document and our revised five-step guidance on importing from and exporting to the EU. Please also find a number of follow ups from Government from previous topics covered at meetings:


Do you have a link to further information on plans for a proportionate and risk—based approach to enforcement of labelling requirements in Northern Ireland?

  • Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, goods sold in NI will continue to follow EU rules for food labelling. This means labelling differences between GB and NI for some foods. The information on was updated further on the 5 Nov to include the arrangements in NI for food labelling in terms of FBO addresses and origin ‘UK(NI)’. This page also links to the updated FSA guidance on H&ID marks.
  • There will be changes to labelling that apply immediately from the end of the transition period. However the UK Government is discussing with the FSA and district councils in NI the challenges facing some businesses in meeting these new labelling requirements within the short timeframes available.
  • In line with previous rule changes for labelling, district council officers may, on a case by case basis, apply a proportionate and risk-based enforcement approach where a business needs time to adapt to new labelling rules particularly for FBO addresses, use of origin UK(NI) and health and ID marks.
  • This approach will be implemented in a way which supports businesses as they adapt to the requirements over time. It should be clear that the approach only allows transition from the current rule to the new rule. For example, an FBO address in a 3rd country will not be allowable except as additional voluntary information; the address should be the existing GB address in use now and which will be replaced when an appropriate NI or EU address is established.


FDF EU EXIT Essentials One Day Event: Join us on Thursday 10 December for this one-day virtual event packed with three essential sessions discussing all the information we know about the end of the transition period so far. FDF has been at the fore-front of discussions with the UK Government on EU transition and our expert colleagues will be joined by international law firms and advisers to help you prepare.

The three sessions will cover:

International trade, borders and tariffs

Most businesses either import, export or both. Have you taken all the necessary steps to ensure smooth trade and supply chains?

Immigration and workforce

Many food and drink businesses employ EU colleagues. Do you have everything in place to secure their futures as part of your business?

Regulation and devolved nations

How will food and drink law be impacted? Is your labelling compliant and are you sure that you will be operating legally post 1 January 2021?

How will the end of transition impact the devolved nations? We give the overview for Scottish and Welsh manufacturers

Register your place »

Event details and pricing:

Brexit Essentials: The end of transition
Thursday 10 December 2020, 9:00am – 4:30pm (timings approximate and subject to change)
Free for FDF members
Non Member £80.00
Register your place »



HSE eBulletin

HSE eBulletin: Get your business ready as the transition period ends

This eBulletin includes guidance and resources on preparing your business for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.


For all the latest updates visit our website.

Changes ahead as the transition period ends: Act now

The UK has left the EU and new rules for business with the EU start in January 2021.

The transition period will end on 31 December 2020 and will not be extended. Whatever the outcome of the trade negotiations, there will be changes for businesses from 1 January 2021.


With only five weeks to go, there are actions your business can take now.


There is specific guidance available on chemicals and equipment and machinery.


HSE is also hosting a series of podcasts to provide more information on the changes to how chemicals will be regulated from 1 January 2021. Subscribe here for free access.


You can also stay up to date with the latest developments by signing up to receive a weekly email bulletin from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Transition period webinars for businesses

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised a series of webinars to help UK businesses understand the new trading rules which will come into effect from 1st January 2020.

All webinars are free to attend and aimed primarily at UK businesses importing and exporting goods. Each webinar includes time for a Q&A session at the end where businesses can ask questions.

  • Thursday 3 December 10.30 – 11.30am
  • Thursday 10 December 10.30 – 11.30am
  • Thursday 17 December 10.30 – 11.30am

Spaces are limited so reserve your place here.