FOB Chief Executive’s Weekly News for 1st June 2021

Dear All,

I hope you had a sunny, relaxing weekend and the heat is not causing too many issues in the bakeries.

Detailed below is the Weekly News for 1st June.

Have a good week.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

Barclays Economic Update: UK Flash Composite Output Index Increased to 62.0 in May’21

According to data published by HIS MARKIT/CIPS, UK Flash Composite output index increased to 62.0 in May’21 from 60.7 in Apr’21, recording the highest rate of growth since Jan’98. The upturn was led by recovery in business and consumer confidence and higher output levels in customer-facing businesses as lockdown restrictions lifted.

The seasonally adjusted UK flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) increased to 66.1 in May’21 from 60.9 in Apr’21, the highest since jan’92. In May’21, the manufacturing production index stood at 63.2 and the index of new orders stood at 69.1, the highest since Jul’94. Manufacturing companies reported a significant increase in domestic demand, due to the reopening of the UK economy.

The seasonally adjusted flash UK services business activity index increased to 61.8 in May’21 from 61.0 in apr’21. The growth was driven by the partial reopening of the hospitality sector and relaxation of restrictions, along with an increase in spending by both consumers and businesses in May’21.


FMCG Manufacturers Have Collaborated to Improve Plastic Recycling in the UK

Five of the UK’s largest FMCG manufacturers, Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Pepsi¢o and Unilever have collaborated to form a £1m fund named the flexible plastic fund. It aims to improve plastic recycling in the UK, make flexible plastic recycling economically viable for recyclers and make it easier for consumers.

Through the partnership, the manufacturers along with retailers and recyclers, aim to improve flexible plastic recycling and reduce plastic pollution by giving the material a stable value, which will help in increasing the supply of recycled plastic. They intend to create a circular UK based flexible plastic recycling market and meet the upcoming UK plastic packaging tax obligations.

The initiative aims to provide fully audited transparency of plastic recycling. At least 80% of the plastics collected will be recycled in the UK, which is expected to increase to 100% by 2023. Under the initiative, all the plastic material will be fully traceable and tracked from the collector until its transformation to a new product.  



The Food (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2021 were laid in Parliament this week.

The regulations remove recognition clauses for imports of certain products containing meat, bread and flour, fruit curds and mincemeat and spreadable fats. A period of adjustment until 30th September 2022 is also provided. (In the case of the Products Containing Meat etc. Regulations this period is provided initially until 12th December 2021, and we are preparing legislation to ensure these regulations remain in force which will also include an extension of the period of adjustment until Sept 2022) provide that unfortified wheat flour can be sold in and imported into England for use in products for export. The respective exemption from the Bread and Flour Regulations would be available when the regulations are expected to come into force on 17th June 2021.

Further explanation of these changes can be seen in our consultation, which has now closed. A summary of responses is due to be published in June.



Rules of Origin recorded webinar

HMRC has uploaded a webinar on how to use Rules of Origin to determine where goods originally come from, and whether they qualify for a preferential tariff under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.


Reminder: Join the NI-GB Food Supply Chain Forum

Defra has established a new weekly industry forum for all businesses within the agri-food supply chain and moving goods between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI). It aims to create a community for open discussion of issues affecting business. It will focus on operational implementation issues in the main and ensure the open communication of relevant policy and delivery developments associated with movements into and from NI.
We would like this community to be as representative as possible so would welcome registrations from the wide range of organisations involved in moving agri-food goods from GB to NI and NI to GB. See our registration of interest form here.



SACN reports on lower carbohydrate diets & type 2 diabetes

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has published a report setting out its responses to the views and evidence it received on its draft report on lower carbohydrate diets for adults with type 2 diabetes, following consultation in spring 2020.  SACN has also published the responses to the consultation which it received.  In the new report SACN confirms that many of the views and the evidence received will “be considered when formulating recommendations and research recommendations.”  The report suggests that a diet lower in carbohydrates for up to 6 months is an effective option with beneficial effects, including improving blood sugar management, for adults living with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. In the short-term studies, reported diets were classed as lower carbohydrate if they were made up of around 37% carbohydrates, compared to 50% for higher carbohydrate diets. Public Health England (PHE) said that adults living with type 2 diabetes choosing a lower carbohydrate diet should aim to include wholegrain or higher fibre foods, a variety of fruits and vegetables and limit saturated fats.


FSA publishes results for Covid-19 & food consumer tracker

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published the latest findings of its Covid-19 Consumer Tracker, which monitors attitudes, experiences and behaviours of consumers in relation to food during the pandemic. The research covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland from April 2020 onwards. The results show that concern about food availability, food affordability and skipping meals for financial reasons were high in April 2020, but declined significantly in August 2020. They have since risen again to their current level in March 2021.  Trends in food purchasing, eating, food safety and hygiene behaviours in the home have remained stable. They are consistent since the tracker began in April 2020.  In March 2021, 22% of participants reported having a concern about the food they eat at the moment. The biggest concerns selected by participants were the “healthiness” of food in my diet (53%), animal welfare (52%), the ethical treatment of producers and farmers (50%), food freshness (50%) and hormones, steroids or antibiotics in food (50%). The FSA said that results over the last year had shown that young people and households with children are amongst those most affected by food insecurity, which unfortunately has gradually increased since the lower levels seen last summer.

Draft Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021

The Government has published a draft Statutory Instrument (Explanatory Memorandum) setting out the regulations which will require large businesses (those with 250 or more employees) to display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and drink items that are prepared for immediate consumption. Calorie information must be displayed at the point of choice for the customer, such as on menus, menu boards, online menus, and food labels. In addition to displaying the calorie information of each item, businesses are also required to display the statement “adults need around 2000 kcal a day” where it can be seen by customers when making their food choices.


UK Government Announced £166.5m of Funding For Green Technology

The UK government has announced £166.5m of funding to support developments in green technology to help the UK meet its climate targets. The funding will be granted to energy-intensive businesses, innovators, academics and heavy industries leading to the creation of over 60,000 green jobs across the UK.

The funding will support the development of technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen. It will also help in finding solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy and waste.

Through the funding, the government aims to put the UK at the forefront of the green technologies of the future. It also aims to support industries lower costs, remain competitive and protect jobs.

An Introduction to the Packaging Waste Regulations
08 June 2021
11:00 – 12:00

This webinar will provide an overview of the regulations, what they mean for your business and how you can ensure compliance.

Presenter: Ross More, Commercial Account Manager
Ross conducts compliance reviews and account management meetings across the country. He is one of our dedicated Account Managers who has a passion for excellent customer service and ensuring members’ get the most from one-to-one






What is the proposed UK Plastic Tax and what will it mean for your business?
24 June 2021
11:00 – 12:00

This webinar will explore what the UK Plastic Tax could look like, time frames and what the likely impact is for your business.

Presenter: Lee Wearing, Strategic Account Manager
Lee is one of our dedicated Compliance Consultants performing compliance reviews to ensure our members’ data meets the accuracy requirements needed. Lee has worked for Valpak for over 7 years and specialises in WEEE compliance, ensuring our members’ receive the most up-to-date and correct advice. Lee graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in Ancient and Medieval History in 2008.