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BFFF president praises food industry's tenacity

02 December 2011

Speaking at the British Frozen Food Federation’s Annual Luncheon, President Nick Shaw praised the ingenuity of the frozen food industry for weathering the economic storm and dealing with tougher legislation from Brussels

In his second speech as president Shaw cited growth of frozen as an indicator of the industry’s health. But warned of increasing legislative burden that threatens the sector.

Shaw said that while analysts might say that the growth of frozen isn’t very exciting, the retail market is well above the £5 billion sales mark. The first £4 billion has taken oven 50 years to achieve with the last billon being added in just five or six years. He added: “Compound growth of 2.9% during some of the most difficult trading conditions that most of us have ever known is something to be applauded.”

Turning to the legislative landscape, Shaw urged government departments to keep up the fight for sensible and practical solutions for the UK food industry whilst protecting consumers’ interests. He said that it is encouraging that the coalition government is keen to reduce the amount of regulation that industry is burdened with but unfortunately much legislation is generated from Brussels.

He commented that in recent years, the UK has often been a single voice out of 27 when debating regulations, more recently in the information bill the inclusion of ‘date of freezing’ for certain product sectors.

Shaw acknowledged that there was evident consumer confusion around ‘use by’, ‘sell by’ and ‘best before’ dates and asked whether there was anything to be gained by including a ‘first freezing’ date. He declared that the frozen food industry stood “ready, willing and able to help government in this complex area.”

Shaw praised BFFF’s promotion activities and congratulated the Federation on the success of its inaugural Business Conference and the strong line-up planned for 2012’s event. He also reminded the audience of the progress the Federation had made with the promotion of frozen food to both consumers and to the foodservice sector, and thanked the members of BFFF who had sponsored the world’s first frozen food only restaurant held in London in August.

To close his speech, Shaw paid tribute to Ian Farley, Technical Manager of BFFF who is to retire on Boxing Day after 15 years’ of service. Shaw commended Mr Farley for his outstanding knowledge of EU legislation and thanked him sincerely on behalf of the Federation for his hard work.

The BFFF Annual Luncheon was held on Tuesday 22 November 2011 at London’s Hilton Hotel. It was attended by industry leaders, frozen food organisations and a number of the trade press.

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