FOB Chief Executive’s Weekly News for 13th September 2021

Dear all,


Detailed below is the Weekly News for 13th September.

Have a good week and stay safe.


Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

Barclays Economic Update: UK Manufacturing Sector Activity Decreases to 22% in Jun-Aug’21

According to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest growth indicator, UK manufacturing sector activity decreased to 22% in aug’21 from 37% in jul’21. The survey was based on 521 responses, conducted between 27th jul’21 and 17th aug’21.

The firms in the survey experienced the fastest growth in activity in more than seven years of 34% in aug’21, from 33% in jul’21. The growth was driven by an increase in consumer services activity to 30% in aug’21 from 3% in jul’21 and an increase in distribution activity to 53% in aug’21 from 48% in jul’21. However, business and professional services growth remained broadly stable at 32% in aug’21 from 34% in jul’21.

Additionally, private sector activity is expected to grow at a faster pace than the long-run average in sep-nov’21. Manufacturers expect a marginal increase in the rate of growth to 26% in sep-nov’21.

Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist stated that disruption to global supply chains during covid-19 has led to sharp rises in material and shipping costs, adding further pressure. However, recent isolation rule changes are expected to ease pressures on overall labour availability.


Government announcement on border delays This morning, the Government have announced that they intend to delay import checks as follows:

  • The requirement for pre-notification of agri-food imports will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as opposed to 1 October 2021.
  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • The requirement for Safety and Security declarations on imports will be introduced as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.

Government publishes statement on “standstill” arrangements for moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

The UK Government has published a Written Ministerial Statement, which confirms the “standstill” arrangements proposed in the Command Paper published on 23 July 2021. The “standstill” arrangements mean that the current processes for moving goods from Great Britain and Northern Ireland will continue to be administered as they have been up to this point


Moving Goods Trader Showcase migration

The online Trader Showcase site that you’ve been using to find out about the new rules for moving goods to Northern Ireland and exporting to the EU has been migrated to two new locations, which you can access by using the links below:

The new Trader Showcase has been developed using Dropbox Paper, which usually requires users to have an account to access content. We recommend opening a free account – which involves a basic registration process – if you don’t already have one.
The new Trader Showcase site works with most modern browsers, but is best viewed using Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the latest two versions of Edge.


Labour shortages update

Following the publication of the ‘Establishing the labour availability issues of the UK Food and Drink Sector’ report, the FDF is working with organisations including the NFU and the Road Haulage Association to maintain pressure on the government.

The FDF has reached out to government departments and MPs and the resulting engagement has been positive at many levels – CEO Ian Wright was approached by Bank of England Governor, Andrew Bailey, to discuss the issue ahead of his evidence to the Treasury Committee and we have hosted discussions with MPs, including Steve Baker MP who has agreed to table Parliamentary Questions.

Ventilation guidance for businesses

Government guidance on working safely during coronavirus advises provision of adequate ventilation as one of the priority actions for businesses to take to protect staff and consumers. Please find the following detailed guidance from HSE, which was updated in August with further examples and a video summarising the HSE guidance:


Action on Fibre: As part of its new, annual, Celebrating Food and Nutrition Week, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), has launched a new initiative – Action on Fibre – to help people boost their fibre intake.
Action on Fibre is a proactive industry initiative, supported by many of the FDF’s members and well-loved brands. As part of this, food and drink companies have signed up to a wide range of pledges from highlighting higher fibre options on product packaging, to launching new products that are higher in fibre.
From its survey with Censuswide, the FDF found that only one in three (33%) surveyed are aware of the recommended adult amount of 30g per day, and 70% were unsure as to whether they achieve this in their diet or stated they don’t meet the daily recommendation. This aligns with dietary survey data which shows that only 9% of adults currently meet the dietary recommendation.

Action on Fibre aims to help bridge the gap between fibre intakes and the dietary recommendation by making higher fibre diets more appealing, normal and easy for the population.

Sale of UK Food and Drinks to non-EU Countries Increased 13% in h1’21

According to a report published by the Food & Drink Federation (FDF), sales of UK food and drink to non-EU countries increased 13% to £4.3bn in h1’21, accounting for 46.6% of all UK food and drink exports. This was driven by a return to growth in China, Singapore, Australia, Japan and the Gulf region, indicating that non-EU exports are now almost back to pre covid-19 levels.

Additionally, the other non-EU export markets which reported fastest growth were Colombia (142.6%), followed by Mexico (111.2%), Chile (105.4%) and Brazil (87.2%). This increase was mainly driven by a recovery in sales of whisky and vegetable oils and the fact that the increase in demand for other UK products started from a much lower baseline.

Furthermore, the report highlighted that overall sales of UK food and drink were £2bn below the pre covid-19 levels, due to a significant decrease in sales to the EU. A loss of more than £0.5bn in sales to Ireland was reported, while sales to Germany, Spain and Italy also decreased by c.50% since h1’19.

Additionally, UK imports of food and drink decreased by c.10% in h1’21, compared to pre covid-19 levels. However, imports from non-EU markets increased during the period. Import of products of animal original significantly decreased, such as pork by 19.6%, cheese by 17.6% and chicken by 17.9%.


Identifying the Risks, Avoiding the Crisis in the Food & Drink Industry Before March 2020, a global pandemic would not have been top of many risk managers’ lists. Covid-19 has shown that food and drink businesses need a good risk management strategy to avoid being plunged into a crisis when the worst happens.

Join FDF for this half-day virtual event to help you prepare your overall risk management strategy and look closely at some of the individual elements that are likely to feature on your risk register.


Virtual Event: Identifying the Risks, Avoiding the Crisis in the Food & Drink Industry


 28 September 2021
09:00 – 12:15 GMT
 Free for FDF Members / £45 + VAT non members