To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve productivity in food manufacturing.
Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector employing 400,000 people. The success of the industry is crucial to driving growth across the country.
Through our International Action Plan, Defra and DIT are helping the sector to export more. This is through opening new markets, supporting new exporters and targeted export campaigns in priority markets such as China, USA and India. We are opening up public procurement to more SMEs and local producers and funding the Food Innovation Network to help the spread of innovation.
There is extensive interest in the Industrial Strategy across the sector as evidenced by their response to the Industrial Strategy green paper. The sector is also keen on a sector deal and we look forward to seeing detailed proposals.