Food and Drink Federation: Who, Where and How Much

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Food and Drink Federation 6 Catherine Street London WC2B 5JJ 020 7836 2460


The FDF is funded principally by member's fees. In 2003, company membership was 200 per £1m turnover, plus VAT, capped at £1bn. There are extra charges to be an associate or affiliate member.

It costs between £1000 to £3000 per year to access committee papers so unfortunately Corporate Watch cannot spill the beans on their internal workings.

FDF Policy formulation

FDF policies are developed through industry-wide consultation, channelled through its governing Council, and advised by specialist committees. The committees are:

Communications Committee. This promotes industry messages to decision-makers and opinion formers including Parliament, central and local government, the media, health professionals and academics.

The key task of the UK Communications Committee is 'to devise programmes to develop the image and influence of the British food and drink manufacturing industry by widening public knowledge and recognition of its products and heightening consumer confidence in the quality and safety of the food supply.'

Food Policy and Resources Committee consists of industry leaders who meet quarterly to discuss trade, supply, resource, research and other major issues of concern to the industry. It has a number of sub-committees and working parties.

Out of Home Group (formerly Food Service Committee) consists of senior company representatives. The committee works on policy resulting from manufacturer/distributor and end operator relationships.

Grocery Trade Liaison Committee consists of senior company representatives. It works on policy resulting from manufacturer/retailer relationships and, interestingly in recognition of the unprecedented concentration in the industry, focuses on Competition Policy developments. To support its work there are two sub-committees, one dealing with supply chain and the other with sales promotion issues.

Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Committee seeks to monitor, evaluate and influence both UK and EU scientific and regulatory affairs that affect the commercial interests of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. Its wide-ranging responsibilities include good manufacturing practice, identity-preserved ingredient supply, food chain technical data transfer and the maintenance of liaison with other major food chain interests such as the Food Standards Agency and the UK research associations. Sub-committees include: Agricultural Practices, Food Contact Materials, Food Hygiene, Food Ingredients, Food Law, Labelling, Nutrition and Residues and Contaminants.

Environment Committee Reviews environmental issues and developments that affect, or have the potential to affect, the interests of the food and drink industry and ensures that the scientific, technical or other relevant aspects are being adequately dealt with by FDF. Current issues are environmental management, integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC), packaging, sustainability and waste. There are currently five issue-led topic groups under the Environment Committee to facilitate more detailed discussions of specific issues, namely: Air Emissions, IPPC, Packaging, Transport and Water.

Food and Drink National Training Organisation (Food and Drink NTO) Represents the strategic training and development interests of the industry at national level.

The Organic Food Manufacturers Liaison Group. This group of over 50 manufacturers was set up in 2001 to among other worthy causes 'ensure high quality standards' as well as support the future development of new certification standards, based on consumer needs. (See Corporate Crimes section).[1]

CIAA Delegation The Confederation des Industries Agro-Alimentaires (CIAA), based in Brussels, is the food and drink industry's European trade association. It represents the industry on regulatory issues at an EU and international level. Its objective is explicitly to increase free trade within the European Union. As well as representing national trade federations, it also represents the interests of large transnationals operating in Europe such as Cargill, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and Unilever.

The CIAA took an active part in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, August 2002, hosting a side event and publishing a UNEP sponsored report entitled 'Continuous Improvement Towards Sustainability' which 'offers testimony to the determination of the food and drink industry to understand and integrate sustainability into its business culture and processes.'[2]

Their evident commitment to sustainability is reflected in their recent press statement resisting European recycling targets of 65% by 2006:

'Today's vote in the European Parliament did not take into account the considerable efforts that the food and drink industry has already made regarding the prevention and recycling of packaging. A recycling target of 65 % would lead to costs for the industry that are disproportionate to the benefits for the environment', argues Raymond Destin, Director General of the CIAA, the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU.[3]

A few key people

- President of the FDF - Non-executive director of Compass Group plc., the world's largest foodservice company with annual revenues in excess of nine billion pounds. - Non-Executive Director and Chair designate of Northern Foods plc (as of November 2001), succeeding Lord Haskins.

Previous industry positions: - Chair and Chief Executive of Nestle UK.

Other information: He is a practising Catholic, and sees Easter as a 'gifting' festival which, he believes, is a positive thing since it helps bring families together[4] (in 2000, Nestle sold 20 million eggs for £88 million). He has come more under attack for his role in marketing baby milk formula in the developing world. He admits 'There is no doubt that the marketing of formulas was excessive in the 1970s' [5] but insists that since the early 1980s Nestle has complied with the World Health Organisation Code on Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. See for contradictory evidence.

  • Peter Blackburn has also come under fire for his role in the 2001 foot and mouth crisis. Working with the NFU, he helped to turn around the government's proposed and almost-cemented vaccination policy for Cumbria and possibly part of Devon. Blackburn 'fiercely' lobbied against the vaccination programme, concerned that it may dent Nestle export profits (see 'Foot and Mouth crisis' in 'Corporate Crimes' section).

- Director General of FDF (from January 2001). - Previously, career in British civil service, including secondments to the French Ministre de la Cooperation and the Tresor, and to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Also former civil servant at the Department for International Development. - Wife of the former British Ambassador to Paris and current Foreign Office permanent undersecretary, Sir Michael Jay.

(Previously-held positions) - President of the Food and Drink Federation - Chair of Van den Bergh Foods Ltd

- Deputy President of the Food & Drink Federation.[7] - Chief Executive Officer of Uniq plc. as of February 2002. Uniq is a leading European convenience foods business with a turnover in excess of �1bn. Principal brand names in the UK include St Ivel.


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  4. ^ The Guardian, April 21, 2001
  5. ^ The Guardian, April 21, 2001
  6. ^ M2 PRESSWIRE April 30, 1997
  7. ^ The Regulatory News Service, February 14, 2002