FOB Chief Executive’s Weekly News for 17th August 2020

Dear All,

Detailed below is the Weekly News/Covid Update for 17th August.

Have a good week.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

Barclays Economic Update:

UK economy is expected to grow by 15% in q3’20

According to the data published by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), the UK economy is expected to grow by 15% in q3’20 after a contraction in q2’20, assuming the covid-19 pandemic is controlled.

However, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK economy contracted by 20.4% in q2’20 after a 2.2% decline in q1’20, thus entering a technical recession. ONS also stated that it was the first recession since the global financial crisis of 2009 and the largest ever experienced by the UK economy.

Meanwhile, the monthly gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for jun’20 increased by 8.7%, as more firms returned to business after further relaxation of the covid-19 lockdown measures. However, the GDP is still one-sixth below its level in feb’20.

According to the think tank, GDP is expected to decline by 10% in 2020 and increase by 6% in 2021, on the consideration that there is no resurgence of covid-19 and no reintroduction of the containment measures.

The NIESR expected that the service sector, which accounts for 80% of GDP is likely to grow by 14%, and production to increase by 16.1% in q3’20. additionally, manufacturing output is expected to increase by 20.3% in q3’20.  

Eurozone industrial production increased in jun’20

According to data from Eurostat, eurozone industrial production increased for the second consecutive month in jun’20, following relaxation of the covid-19 containment measures.

Industrial output increased by 9.1% in jun’20, which is slower than the 12.3% increase in may’20. On a yearly basis, the industrial output declined by 12.3% in jun’20 as compared to 20.4% in May’20. Among the main industrial groups, production of durable consumer goods increased by 20.2% and that of capital goods by 14.2%.

Output of intermediate goods increased by 6.7% in jun’20 and that of non-durable consumer goods by 4.8% for the same period. Data indicated that industrial production in eu27 increased by 9.1% in jun’20 (m-o-m) and decreased by 11.6% as compared to the same period in 2019.


Sustainability on the agenda for manufacturers:

Covid-19 has had a positive impact on the environment due to a reduction in energy consumption across the manufacturing sector. However, it has delayed many planned physical activities from taking place at a site level that are geared towards improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions.

Many manufacturers were forced to reduce production in response to the mar’20 lockdown. This resulted in a decline in absolute energy consumption and relative energy consumption.

Various energy reduction activities are expected to recommence as the pandemic restrictions are progressively lifted. However, it is vital that manufacturers put energy efficiency back on their agenda to help reduce bottom line costs, protect against fluctuating energy costs, and lower emissions.

Additionally, manufacturers are likely to consider ways to innovate and potentially collaborate in order to eliminate carbon emissions from their operations within the next 30 years.



Use of Visors or Shields: The link below is to the guidelines produced by Food Standards Scotland (FSS)



The paragraph below is an extract from the guidelines, page 21, which makes clear what is the appropriate use of visors or shields.


Visors or shields are used in certain food production environments (e.g. in meat plants), however evidence suggests that they are unlikely to be an effective control for aerosol transmission of COVID-19. Therefore they should only be regarded as an additional precaution, and never as a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including physical distancing, using fixed teams and partnering for close-up work, and increasing hand and surface washing. These other measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace and FBOs should not rely on the use of visors as a control for preventing the spread of COVID-19. In situations where visors are being worn by staff and physical distancing cannot be maintained, they should be used in conjunction with a face covering or mask. Staff should be trained to ensure any type of face covering is fitted and worn correctly and hygienically.


New post-Brexit guidance on trading with Northern Ireland:

The Government has published new guidance on moving goods into Northern Ireland, and from it, under the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed with the EU.  Separate guidance is provided which covers the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, between Northern Ireland and the EU, and between Northern Ireland and the rest of the world. This guidance adds to the guidance previously published by Defra on importing goods to Great Britain from the EU with effect from 1 January 2021.



FSA publishes Covid-19 Consumer Tracker waves 3 & 4 results:

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched the latest findings of its Covid-19 Consumer Tracker and additional qualitative research, including social media listening. The monthly tracker monitors the attitudes, experience and behaviour of consumers in relation to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland during the pandemic. When asked about what would reassure respondents that it is safe to return to eat in restaurants, 31% in July said they would not do so for the foreseeable future, up from 25% in June.   The number of people who reported eating more risky food past its use-by date remained relatively consistent across waves, in July the percentages ranged from 16% for smoked fish to 37% for bagged salad.  There was a significant increase in foodbank usage between May (7%) and June (10%), remaining consistent in July (9%).  As in previous waves, foodbank usage remained higher for younger people, households with children (and larger households), those with a physical or mental health condition and those who are shielding or had Covid-19 symptoms. Reasons for foodbank usage in July primarily reflected economic hardship, with 25% reporting it was because they had lost their job, 20% reporting it was because they were on furlough, 27% reporting a delay or problems with benefits and 20% stating it was simply due to not having enough money.  The qualitative research (appendix) showed that more generally, Covid-19 had changed how consumers buy, cook and eat food. Many experienced positive changes to household food behaviour that they wished to continue as lockdown eased, for example increased home-cooking and food sharing and increased attention to diet.


Covid-19 update:

The UK Government has decided to make 6000 people working for the national Test and Trace system redundant and to re-deploy the others to support local tracking and tracing systems, in line with a more devolved approach recommended by many stakeholders. This announcement follows the decision to impose local lockdowns on more areas, such as Preston. In addition a new app is being piloted on the Isle of Wight, in Newham and by NHS Volunteer Responders across England.  It will generate Covid-19 contact alerts based on postcode, QR check-in at venues, a symptom checker and test booking. The Government has also announced that one of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term impact on health of Covid-19 on hospitalised patients has been launched in the UK.  The total number of people in the UK recorded as testing positive for Covid-19 on any one day continues to vary considerably, but an estimated 28,300 people in the community in England had Covid-19 during the week from 27 July to 2 August.  According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the increase in the number of new daily cases seen since early July may be levelling off. The latest results bring the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus to 313,798 across the UK (by 4pm on 12 August) and the Government’s  Covid-19 data dashboard shows that of the people who have had a positive test for Covid-19 in the UK, 46,706 have died as of 12 August. This figure includes all deaths of anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK without a time limit, but does not include people who died from Covid-19 but who had not been tested.  The latest PHE epidemiological surveillance report (summary) with information up to 4 August has also been published.


WRAP launches “Keep Crushing It” campaign on food waste:

WRAP, the Government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme, has launched a new campaign, “Let’s Keep Crushing It” to encourage people to waste less food as we did during the Covid-19 lockdown, when it says households wasted a third less food. The campaign suggests 6 easy ways to reduce less food, including making detailed shopping lists and freezing food; and it supplements that advice with leftover food recipes. [Source: WRAP website 10 August 2020]




Having trouble viewing this email? View the content as a web page.
Weekly Digest eBulletin

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.

Checking businesses are COVID-secure

HSE are contacting businesses to make sure workplaces are COVID-secure to help tackle the local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.


Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, HSE has contacted approximately 10,000 businesses to check if they are COVID-secure, and 5,700 proactive spot inspections have been completed. In addition, HSE has also dealt with over 3,300 COVID concerns raised by members of the public.


Following work in other regions, HSE is currently working alongside Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in the confirmed coronavirus cases in the area. Inspectors are putting duty holders and employers on the spot and ensuring that they are complying with the latest Safer Workplace guidance relevant to their sector. You can read more here.


Businesses and staff need to be aware that HSE can call by phone or turn up at your premises to conduct a COVID-secure spot check or inspection at any time, and you must cooperate and engage with our inspectors.


Being COVID-secure is important in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. HSE will take appropriate action where they find employers are not implementing the appropriate measures to deal with the risks posed by coronavirus in the workplace. Businesses can do this by following these five practical steps.

Test and trace support for businesses and employers

The NHS Test and Trace service supports businesses and economic recovery by:

  • providing free testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus
  • asking those that test positive and their close contacts to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus in the workplace
  • enabling the government to go further in safely lifting lockdown measures

If a worker develops symptoms, even if they are mild, they should request a free test immediately. If they test positive for coronavirus they’ll be asked to provide details of anyone who they have been in close recent contact with to the NHS Test and Trace service.


You can find more information on NHS Test and Trace on GOV.UK


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

Coronavirus guidance and advice

HSE has published a range of guidance and information, which you may find useful.

It includes:

For all the latest information and advice visit our coronavirus microsite.

Being COVID-secure: stakeholder feedback required

We want to hear about measures you have put in place relating to social distancing, cleaning and hygiene and risk assessment.


Tell us about what you have done by emailing us here

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

Subscribe to our eBulletins here

Subscriber services:

Manage Preferences | Unsubscribe | Disclaimer

Email was sent to