FOB Ltd Chief Executive’s Weekly News – week commencing 30th September 2019

Dear All,

Detailed below is the Weekly News for 30th September.

Have a good week.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive

Federation of Bakers Ltd

Brexit(1): Barclays UK Economic Update: Brexit related recession pushed out

The UK government has pursued its efforts to strike a deal while at the same time expressed readiness to leave without one. Also, the UK government presented discussion papers to the European Union (EU) on 25th sep1’9. Juncker, the President of European Commission has shown an openness to replacing the controversial backstop. However, any such agreed alternative must meet all objectives. With no formal submission deadline having been set, the UK government is unlikely to present a written solution before the end of the Conservative party conference on 02nd oct’19.

During h1’19, the UK economy experienced growth of 0.5% and industrial activity has been weak as a result of the global slowdown and trade tensions. According to Markit, Brexit uncertainty has amplified the reduction in overseas demand as some EU-based clients have been routing supply chains away from the UK. The decline in business confidence and the high level of uncertainty had a negative impact on business investment. On contrary, household demand has remained solid, supported by the strong labour market and the acceleration in earnings.

In sep’19 meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept monetary policy on hold but noted that global growth has been weaker than expected after release of august inflation report, owing to lower investment in advanced economies partly resulting from trade tensions. As for the UK, the Committee noted that the negative effect of Brexit related uncertainties on productivity could be temporary where it is directly related to the preparation for Brexit, but could also be more permanent as a result of lower investment and a reallocation of activity away from more productive sectors. Given the wide range of potential paths for the economy over the coming years due to the different nature of the trading relationship between the UK and the EU, the Committee reiterated that there was no pre-decided path for monetary policy, notably in the case of a no deal Brexit. In the event of no deal, the MPC noted that interest rates decisions would depend on the trade-off between the consequences of a weak currency and those of lower demand.



Barclays European Union Economic Update: Financing sentiment, looming risks

The euro area sep’19 ‘flash’ composite PMI adds downside risk to the unchanged q3’19 GDP forecast of 0.2% (q-o-q), as Barclays PMI-based GDP growth tracker pins it at 0.05% (q-o-q). The contraction in the manufacturing headline signals further deepening of the sector weakness, with new orders experiencing the strongest deceleration since end of 2012. The German flash composite PMI increased in sep’19 to 49.1 falling into sub-50 territory for the first time since apr’13. The weakness shared across both manufacturing and services indicated that the gap between manufacturing and services activity is still wide-open in sep’19. The French sep’19 PMI composite decreased to 51.3, a level last reached in may’19. This mainly came from services but manufacturing also adjusted down, moving back slightly into contractionary territory. the picture of activity for subcomponents is negative across the board, while employment sub-indices have remained resilient, consistent with only slower additions to staff.



Brexit(2): Ports across England given £10m to prepare for Brexit

16 ports across England are likely to receive a share of a multimillion-pound funding pot to help their preparations for Brexit on 31st oct’19. The Department for Transport (DfT) is revealing the successful bidders of the £10m Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, which offers ports up to £1m each to deliver important infrastructure upgrades. This could include creating more space for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) parking and container storage as well as improving access for vehicles to help keep traffic and trade flowing smoothly across the border. The fund comes as part of a £30 million government scheme, announced in aug’19, to bolster ports across England and ensure they continue to operate efficiently post-Brexit. Grant Shapps, transport secretary stated that the UK’s world-leading maritime ports are fundamental not only to its success as a global trading nation but also to people’s everyday lives, bringing vital goods into the country.



Brexit(3) Defra Update: (This is what I get now on a weekly basis.)The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. As part of our preparations for exiting the EU, we are continuing to create guidance to ensure businesses are aware of what they need to do to prepare for Brexit.Agri-Food businesses should ensure that they are prepared for EU Exit and continue to visit GOV.UK for guidance. Specific guidance for food and drink businesses is available on the Food and Drink GOV.UK landing page, including advice for importers and exporters of animal products, and advice about food labelling, tariffs, data protection and more. As a Defra stakeholder, the Agri-Food Chain Stakeholder Engagement Team would like to share this information with you, and highlight new guidance from this week. Please find this information below and we would be grateful if you could distribute these communications to your members and their relevant supply chains.

  1. Events and webinars to help you prepare for Brexit

There are several opportunities to access support and guidance to help you prepare for Brexit.

  1. Brexit Business Readiness Events

The Government is arranging Brexit Business Readiness Events across the UK to help you prepare, starting Monday 16 September. Join us at a free event in your area to meet government advisers and to find out what actions your business needs to take to prepare.

The events will combine a keynote address, interactive support, advice stands and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts. They will provide you with specific business-focused advice and help.

Register to attend an event at:

  1. DIT Get ready for Brexit business-facing workshops

As part of ongoing support for businesses, the Department for International Trade are running a series of events to help exporters to get ready for Brexit on 31 October. These events will be particularly useful for businesses who are exporting to the EU.

You’ll leave the event with a personalised action plan to prepare your business for Brexit. DIT will talk about impact to supply chains, changes to regulations and contracts, where to find tariff information, and what you might need to speak to customers and employees about, among a range of other topics.

See dates, locations and sign up – limited registration place available.

  1. HMRC Getting ready for Brexit webinars

HMRC are running a number of webinars for UK businesses involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK.

Find out what you need to know to keep importing and exporting by signing up for a webinar.

  1. New and updated guidance
  1. Trading with the UK as an EU business after Brexit

If you’re an EU business not established in the UK, check what you’ll need to do differently to trade with the UK in a no-deal Brexit. The GOV.UK guidance can be found here. (Published 20th September)

  1. Identify livestock for export to the EU in a no-deal Brexit

The UK can continue exporting livestock to the EU in a no-deal Brexit however there is a requirement to follow some extra rules on ear tagging. Please find GOV.UK guidance on how to identify sheep, cattle, pigs and goats when exporting to the EU in a no-deal Brexit. (Published 20th September)

  1. How to move goods through RORO locations in a no deal Brexit: EU to UK and UK to EU

A process flow for freight roll-on, roll-off (RORO) imports and exports between the UK and the EU for a no-deal Brexit (excluding Northern Ireland) is available on GOV.UK here. (Published 23rd September)

  1. Hauliers and commercial drivers: you will need new documents to transport goods into the EU after Brexit

GOV.UK guidance is available here summarizing document requirements for hauliers and commercial drivers. It includes a summary of the driver, vehicle, cargo and customs documents required to transport goods into the EU after Brexit. (Published 23rd September)

  1. EU Regulation: Smarter rules for safer food

The EU are introducing new rules to protect against animal disease and plant pests. The new Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625 and Plant Health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 will apply in EU member states from 14 December 2019. How and when the UK implements these regulations will depend on Brexit. UK exporters will need to comply with these regulations when they come into force in all Brexit scenarios. Further information on this can be found here.

  1. News and resources
  1. Press release – Government encourages food exporters to get ready for animal health regulations

Importers and exporters of animals and animal products are being urged to prepare for Brexit on 31 October, as these will be subject to new requirements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This would include foodstuffs ranging from cuts of meat to cheese, as well as fish and fishery products. George Eustice MP shared his thoughts, which are available to read here. (Published 23rd September)

  1. Food and drink showcase dropbox with shareable resources

We are re-sharing the dropbox link as there is a new flyer and also poster size format designed for the food and industry. Click here or copy this link into a compatible browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari): We encourage you to share this widely with your members and stakeholders.

We want to keep you updated with the most recent Brexit guidance. In order to continue to receive these emails, please ensure you have updated your communication preferences here. Alternatively, you can reply to this email to update your preferences




BBC Radio 4 Food Programme-Additives: The short edition aired on Radio 4 this Sunday from 12:30 (24 mins), then the slightly longer version (28 mins) on Monday, today, from 15:30 – and then we have a special extended podcast (around 40 mins), encompassing pretty much the whole discussion, which is available to download from Sunday afternoon:


Folic Acid Consultation-Update: Interesting to note that the DHSC have advised that the consultation received 1,400 responses, which they are currently analysing. Further information will be provided in due course.

Family Food data published by Defra: Defra has published Family Food datasets, which contain more detailed information than the usual ‘Family Food’ report. The purchases figures set out the average quantity of food and drink purchased per person per week for each food and drink category, while the nutrient intake spreadsheets give the average nutrient intake (energy, carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, minerals and vitamins) from food and drink per person per day. Several different breakdowns are provided in addition to the UK averages including figures by region, income, household composition and characteristics of the household reference person, enabling stakeholders to compare the average nutrient intakes of different sub-groups of the population. The data also includes expenditure spreadsheets, which give the average amount spent in pence per person per week on each type of food and drink, and separate information on eating out purchases.

SHS results reveal falls in soft drinks & heavy alcohol consumption: The Scottish Government (SG) has published the 2018 results of the Scottish Health Survey (SHS) of the diet and health of people in Scotland.  It shows that sugary soft drink consumption has fallen considerably between 2016 and 2018, down by 20% for adults and 19% for children. Adult consumption of cakes and biscuits has also fallen. Around two-thirds (65%) of adults in Scotland were overweight, including 28% who were obese. These levels have been relatively stable since 2008.  The prevalence of children at risk of obesity in 2018 was 16%.  It has fluctuated between 13% and 17% since 1998.  In line with a study just published in the British Medical Journal on the impact of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland, the SHS found that the percentage of men drinking more than 4 units on their heaviest drinking day declined significantly between 2003 (45%) and 2018 (36%). The percentage of women drinking more than 3 units on their heaviest drinking day also declined significantly between 2003 (37%) and 2018 (28%). Overall 24% of adults drank at hazardous or harmful levels, the same as in 2017, but down from 34% in 2003. Scotland’s Public Health Minister, Joe Fitzpatrick, said the findings were “very encouraging”. The BMJ article reported that alcohol sales in Scotland fell on average by 7.5% after the introduction of MUP, with the biggest reductions among households who drank the most and those on low incomes.

A world first: UK food industry commits to a landmark roadmap to halve food waste:

  • Businesses take the lead to drive down UK’s annual £20 billion food waste bill, equivalent to more than £300 per UK citizen.
  • All major retailers and 50% of larger food businesses to Target-Measure-Act and report on food waste by September 2019.
  • 90 organisations begin epic journey – taking a ‘farm to fork’ approach to commit to a ground-breaking Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to halve food waste.

The UK’s largest retailers, food producers, manufacturers, and hospitality and food service companies have committed to ambitious milestones laid out in a new ground-breaking industry Food Waste Reduction Roadmap; developed with IGD and WRAP to further reduce the UK’s food waste problem*

The Roadmap encompasses the entire supply chain from field to fork, and clearly shows the actions large businesses will take to address food waste both in their own operations, and by working to support their suppliers. It also sets out how these businesses can engage with consumers to help reduce their food waste.

The Roadmap has the support of the UK’s largest food trade bodies, businesses across the supply chain and Defra, Welsh and Scottish Governments. Widespread adoption of Target, Measure, Act is vital to achieve national policy objectives and targets on food waste reduction, including Courtauld 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

90 early adopters who are supporting the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap. By September 2019, the first major milestone on the Roadmap, the aim is to have fifty per cent of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste. With all 250 companies doing so by 2026. To make this happen, the Roadmap is published with a wide range of new resources to enable businesses to act consistently, and support work already underway by many companies through setting out a clear collaborative journey the whole industry can follow.

The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap: Progress Report 2019