More than 330,000 foodservice operators and 73,000 retailers rely on FWD members for the supply of fresh, chilled and frozen food – often delivered daily, and ready to go straight on the menu or the counter.
FWD represents wholesalers in reactive action by government, for example taking the lead in representing the industry on issues such as Free School Meals, Holiday Hunger and wider health and obesity issues. FWD is on the board of the School Food Plan Alliance, which brings together organisations with an interest in school food and attend the regular meetings of the School Food All Party Parliamentary Group.
We are also actively involved in the formulation of food regulation. We work with the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs to produce guidance on the new Food Information to Consumers regulations, and bring members together to discuss how best to implement the requirements.
In addition, FWD represents members’ views on economic controls on food supply, such as the High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) restrictions, to ensure that unintended consequences of intervention are taken into account.
FWD recognises the role that alcohol plays in contributing to anti-social behaviour and health harms, and supports across-the-board measures that consider the supply of alcohol equally, such as minimum unit pricing.
The HFSS watershed advertising ban has been delayed until October 2025. The ban covers TV, on demand programme services, and online advertisements for less healthy food or drink prod- ucts. Business to business websites are exempt from any restrictions as “advertisements which are directed solely at persons who are engaged in, or employed by, a business which involves or is associated with the manufacture or sale of food or drink”. HFSS volume promotion restrictions are due to come into effect in October 2023.
WRAP is consulting in its Food Waste Reduction Road- map, which sets targets for how the UK food industry will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Courthauld Commitment 2030 targets. The updated Roadmap is due to go live in February next year.
Defra has delayed its response to the Public sector food and catering policy consultation until “later in 2023” to enable them to “carefully consider” the 126 responses submitted.
This consultation was seeking to introduce unfeasible standards on SMEs and local sourcing, so the delay in a response is an ideal outcome for FWD and gives us time to continue to make our position on public sector food support known.