The Chancellorâs budget being announced on the 8th March. This is important for food and drink manufacturers who have seen confidence in their businesses decrease over recent months. The cause for this decline stems back to increased costs of input and more narrow profit margins. With Britainâs exit from the European Union on the horizon, and no concrete plans released, industries are being reserved when making future estimations until we know more.
This being said the Food and Drink Federation has released the information from its recent survey which states there have been chances for growth seen within the sector. With food and drink manufacturing being the UKâs largest manufacturing sector, these positive results from the FDF survey allows for hesitant optimism in the uncertain times ahead.
The FDF is calling on the Chancellor to support the sector in his budget. The federation urges the Chancellor to help the industry by offsetting the challenges with measures to support exports of food and drink. Concrete support from the government to support UK exportation and R&D investment will improve the forecast for the sector.
In spite of the optimistic forecast of growth nearly half of the respondents claim to be less confident about the environment for UK business in comparison to the previous poll. The last poll took place in October 2016. This pessimism is expressed by both large and small businesses and shows how wide spread the current uncertainty is.
90% of those asked have the price of ingredients and materials increase recently. This could be due to the weakness of the pound, but the respondents to the survey also said they expect the increases to continue over the course of the next two years. 65% have suggested that because of this increase there has been increased pressure on already slim profit margins. The survey suggests that to combat this the respondents intend on growing their non-EU and domestic sales.