Government need to take action on inflation now – Kemp

Bidfood’s Andy Kemp has called on government to take financial action to help the industry as food inflation costs continue to soar.

It is the third time the sales and marketing director has written to a number of MPs, including the new Prime Minister Liz Truss, highlighting increased concerns about the rising inflation and the lack of government response.

He highlights that since his last report, sent back in February 2022, inflationary costs have risen further. For example, since 2015 when Universal Infant Free School Meal (UIFSM) Funding began the National Living Wage has increased by 41.8%, with the Consumer Price Index rising by 20.01%, CPI Food by 12.21% and ROI for Food & Catering by 17.1%. This compares to UIFSM Funding which has increased over this time by just 11p or 4.8% to £2.41.

In a letter accompanying a paper titled ‘Government Funding of the Provision of School Meals in State Schools in England’ he asks the government to thoroughly consider the effects of “inaction” that will affect and hinder the learning of state school children if government funding is not increased.

“I’m thankful of a change in government as the time has come where action must be taken,” said Kemp. “It is a sad fact that in 2022 there are many children whose only hot meal is the one provided at school and there is no doubt that without extra funding the school meals service is going to have difficulty to sustain its high values and service to the children.

“Should the increases the industry suggests be recognised the funding would be closer to £2.98 per meal at the lower end and £3.01 at the CPI level of which government measures most indices.”

Andy Kemp Bidfood catering Foodservice Government Liz Truss