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Food and Drink Federation's response to the publication of the second part of the National Food Strategy

FDF AwardsResponding to the publication of the second part of the National Food Strategy, the FDF's Chief Scientific Officer, Kate Halliwell, said:

"This report will help inform the wider conversation around the future of the UK's food and drink industry. Food and drink manufacturers welcome the intent to bring forward measures which will help to increase access and affordability of food and drink for children and families on lower incomes.

"In contrast to this, a salt and sugar tax will ultimately impact those families who are already struggling to make ends meet, by making food and drink more expensive. After many years of cost pressures, businesses in our sector are already operating on very tight margins, and any further costs would simply have to be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher food prices.

"These taxes will not drive reformulation. Food and drink manufacturers have been voluntarily lowering fat, salt and sugars in recipes for decades as well as reducing portion size, but it takes time to change much-loved products. Furthermore, the Government's proposed advertising ban and promotions restrictions would limit the ways in which companies can let families know about exciting new options.

"It is hard to view the proposals that the taxes raised will pay for additional health plans, with anything but scepticism. The same promise was made ahead of the introduction of the soft drinks industry levy, but was quietly dropped shortly afterwards.

"We look forward to contributing our own ideas to Defra, including via the Food and Drink Sector Council report due in September. We also look forward to seeing the Government’s White Paper in six months’ time which will have considered a wide range of inputs."